Isaac Davison is a NZ Herald political reporter.

Grenade flew to NZ on soldier's body

A live grenade was carried on the body of a dead Kiwi soldier from Afghanistan to Christchurch without Defence Force officials knowing.

The fist-sized, high-explosive grenade was discovered during the autopsies on three New Zealand soldiers killed by an improvised explosive device in Bamiyan Province on August 19, 2012.

It was not known which body the weapon was carried on.

A court of inquiry found that Corporal Luke Tamatea, Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker and Private Richard Harris' bodies were searched by New Zealand and American officials after their deaths. But a more extensive search was not carried out because of a Defence Force policy that remains should not be disturbed before a post-mortem.

The inquiry recommended that the Defence Force review its mortuary training. It also said that bodies should be x-rayed before they were transported.

The inquiry found that the three soldiers were killed instantly by a 50-pound bomb, which destroyed the Humvee they were travelling in and scattered its parts more than 300 metres.

Corporal Tamatea and Lance Corporal Baker were both involved in the fatal firefight near Baghak village on August 4. Corporal Tamatea was injured in the battle and Lanced Corporal Baker provided medical care to the wounded.

- NZ Herald

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