New Zealand had planned to withdraw its forces by around October 2013, but Mr. Key said they would now probably leave in the early part of next year.
“While decisions still have to be finalized, it’s likely it will take place in the earlier part of 2013 rather than the later,” he said at a news conference in the capital, Wellington.
Among the casualties on Sunday was the first of the country’s female soldiers, a 26-year-old medic, to be killed in the Afghan war. She and her two colleagues died early Sunday as they were traveling in a convoy of vehicles to a forward operating base to take one of the members of their patrol to a doctor. The deaths brought to 10 the number of New Zealand soldiers who have died since the country’s forces were deployed in 2003. Earlier this month, two soldiers were killed and six others were wounded in a gunfight, also in Bamiyan. MORE