The severely wounded commanding officer of the two New Zealand soldiers killed in Afghanistan just over a week ago says his days as an operational soldier are probably over.
Major Craig Wilson was the commanding officer at the time Lance Corporals Pralli Durrer and Rory Malone, both aged 26, were shot by insurgents in Bamyan province, while six were also injured.
Maj Wilson was shot in the shoulder and received multiple wounds to his lungs, ribs, collarbone, shoulder-bone, as well as artery and tissue damage.
He lost the use of his right arm, but doctors anticipate he will regain some, if not all, function with many months of treatment and rehabilitation in New Zealand.
"Judging by the nature of my wounds, my days as an operational soldier are probably over, but I will continue working for my soldiers now and over the next while to ensure that they are accredited the respect and recognition that their actions in Bamyan deserve," Maj Wilson said in a statement released by the New Zealand Defence Force.
He expressed appreciation for public support of both men's families.
"We are very much thinking of the Durrer and Malone families and their friends, as well as the families of all the guys still out doing the job in Afghanistan.
"We really appreciate the support of the New Zealand public."
The full story of what happened is still to be pieced together, Maj Wilson said.
"This battle was very fast, very complex, and came down to a pitched gunfight where the insurgent force had many advantages over us at that moment."
He also thanked all those who came to their aid in the aftermath of the attack, including the coalition medical teams who assisted during the evacuation."The public of New Zealand should know that these Dutch, German and American medical teams treated us like their own countrymen, working tirelessly and with great skill."
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