Former Defence Minister admits civilian casualties in 2010 SAS raid in Afghanistan

Author
David Fisher ,
Section
National,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 22 March 2017, 5:17PM
Former Defence Minister Wayne Mapp has admitted civilians were killed in a 2010 Afghanistan raid. (NZH)

UPDATED 7.44PM: Former Defence Minister Wayne Mapp has admitted civilians were killed in a 2010 Afghanistan raid.

LISTEN ABOVE: Larry Williams talks to the Deputy Director of the National Centre for Peace and Conflict studies at the University of Otago, Professor Richard Jackson, about the allegations. 

The raid is the focus of Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson's new book, which claims six people were killed.

Mapp said he was told in 2014 that a three-year-old child was among those killed during the raid.

"One of the disasters of war is these terrible things can happen," he said when asked about the deaths.

When asked if he was remorseful after learning of the child's death, he said; "I'm sure everyone is remorseful about that. At the time of the attack they thought they were being attacked by insurgents."

Mapp added, "At the time the raid took place the soldiers thought they were engaging with insurgents, that's how people were acting, that's what the report was at the time.

"We didn't achieve the objective we sought, which was the capture of a named group of people."

This is the first Government admission civilians were killed in the raid.

Mapp in 2011 denied civilians were killed when the raid became public .

The new book, Hit and Run, claims Mapp told a friend the operation was New Zealand's "biggest and most disastrous operation - a fiasco".

Released yesterday, the book alleges the SAS killed six civilians and injured 15 during a raid on two villages in Tirgiran Valley, Baghlan.

It claims the raid was a retaliation against the killing of Kiwi soldier Tim O'Donnell days earlier.

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