23 Aug 2011

SAS mission unlikely to be extended

6:05 am on 23 August 2011

New Zealand Defence Minister Wayne Mapp says it is unlikely the mission of the SAS in Afghanistan will be extended beyond its current withdrawal date of March next year.

The Defence Force has named the special forces soldier killed in a battle with the Taliban at the British Council offices in Kabul on Friday, as Corporal Doug Grant, 41.

Dr Mapp says the SAS is due to leave the country in March as part of the process of handing control to the Afghan government, which is building up its capability in preparation.

Prime Minister John Key says that when the SAS return in March they will have spent 2½ years in Afghanistan and have done a terrific job.