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Are Our Troops Safe Or Not?

Are Our Troops Safe Or Not?

ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader Ken Shirley today accused the Labour Government of deliberately misleading the public by grossly understating the risks that our troops would face in Iraq.

"It is interesting to note that Prime Minister Helen Clark today admitted that more casualties are likely - and yet, on August 14, Minister Steve Maharey said in Parliament that if our troops `are there and safe, they will do their job, and if they are not, they will leave'," Mr Shirley said.

"Yet the recent injuring of Captain Hayden Gardner shows that our troops are not as safe as Labour would like us to believe - bombs and landmines cannot differentiate between US, British or Kiwi insignias.

"Our troops are professional soldiers and should be treated as such. They should have adequate equipment and support, and for a Cabinet Minister to confirm their safety because they have Kiwi insignia and will run away from trouble, was grossly irresponsible.

"It is time this Labour Government took a stand. The Prime Minister is anxious to `play catch-up' on damaged US/NZ relations following her earlier gaffes. She must ensure that those deployed are fully equipped. I urge Ms Clark to be consistent," Mr Shirley said.

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