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Arm and protect New Zealand troops


Wayne Mapp National Foreign Affairs Spokesperson

20 August 2003

Arm and protect New Zealand troops

National's Foreign Affairs spokesman says our army engineers heading to Iraq must be fully armed and protected in the wake of today's bomb attack on the UN headquarters in Baghdad.

A New Zealander, Major Todd Hart, is among the injured.

"It's crucial that our troops have the proper equipment to be able to defend themselves against terrorist and guerrilla attack," says Wayne Mapp.

"Running away as quickly as possible, as suggested by acting Defence Minister Steve Maharey last week, is not the answer - rather, being sufficiently equipped and properly protected is," says Dr Mapp.

"Today's attack demonstrates that Saddam Hussein and his henchmen must be defeated by the coalition troops. Our Prime Minister must accept that we are now part of this coalition.

"Defeating the remnants of Saddam Hussein's regime is essential if the New Zealand personnel are to succeed in helping with the reconstruction of Iraq," says Dr Mapp.

Ends

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