17 Sep 2009

Soldiers sent home after Afghanistan bomb stunt

9:59 pm on 17 September 2009

Three New Zealand soldiers serving in Afghanistan are to be sent home after potentially compromising security by emailing photographs of themselves posing with a bomb and machine guns.

The photos, sent to an energy drinks company, showed the soldiers next to a bomb with a message on it to the Taleban.

The Defence Force says the decision to return the three soldiers was made immediately after the incident, which was a breach of operational security.

Two of the soldiers were found guilty and punished in a subsequent investigation into whether the Armed Forces Discipline Act was breached.

The commander of the joint forces, Air Vice Marshall Peter Stockwell, told Checkpoint the soldiers erred in judgement. He says the photographs are now available around the world and disclosed information that could potentially compromise security.