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Tragic Death Of A Brave New Zealander

New Zealanders' hearts go out for the brave serviceman who has died on service in East Timor, Prime Minister Jenny Shipley said today.

Late this afternoon a New Zealand soldier from 1st Battalion, Linton, was fatally injured when the New Zealand Army truck he was driving was involved in an accident.

"I feel deeply for his family and friends as they receive this terrible news," Mrs Shipley said.

"All soldiers know the risks they face when they go into dangerous situations. We knew the danger we faced when we committed New Zealanders to serve in East Timor to defend the democratic rights of a struggling people.

"But that knowledge does not lessen the sadness that we feel tonight. We can all be proud of this soldier. His family can be assured that the thoughts and prayers of New Zealanders are with them.

"I send my heart-felt condolences to his family and his fellow soldiers on service in East Timor. We all hope and pray that further casualties will be as low as possible as New Zealanders do this vital work in East Timor," Mrs Shipley said.


ENDS

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