3 Oct 2011

Defence stands by explanation of fatal Afghan raid

3:07 pm on 3 October 2011

The Defence Force continues to maintain its original explanation about the involvement of the SAS in a raid in Afghanistan which ended in the death of Lance Corporal Leon Smith last week.

Lieutenant-General Rhys Jones says evidence gathered during the operation in Wardak province proves the raid targeted the right compound.

The raid also resulted in the death of a person of interest and the arrest of another.

But Radio New Zealand's political editor says reports from Afghanistan continue to suggest that the SAS might have got caught in a dispute between families, with one dobbing the other in.

Lieutenant-General Jones remains confident that information is false.

He says he is not sure what has happened to a man arrested during the operation, but presumes he is being held by Afghan authorities.