Lynley Bilby is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Four Iraqi soldiers killed in suicide bombing at entrance of Taji military camp

A New Zealand Defence Force trainer instructs ISF soldiers in correct weapons firing positions in Taji, Iraq. Photo / NZDF
A New Zealand Defence Force trainer instructs ISF soldiers in correct weapons firing positions in Taji, Iraq. Photo / NZDF

Four Iraqi soldiers have been killed in a suicide bombing outside the camp New Zealand troops are based at.

The attack occurred at the entrance of the Taji military camp, north of Baghdad.

But Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee said no New Zealanders have been harmed.

Mr Brownlee told RNZ he was confident New Zealand troops were as safe as possible in the high risk environment.

This afternoon, Prime Minister John Key confirmed New Zealand will extend its deployment in Iraq for another 18 months and expand to a second military base.

The non-combat deployment in the battle against the Islamic State (Isis) had been set to finish early next year, but would now last until November 2018.

As well as a longer deployment, New Zealand would commit a small amount of troops to travel to Besmeya military base, 52km from the Taji Military Base where they are currently based.

Mr Key said New Zealand's efforts in the country had been welcomed by the Iraqi Government and the anti-Isis coalition.

"To put it simply, our people are making a difference," he told reporters at his weekly press conference.

The gains made by Iraqi and international forces needed to be consolidated.

Isis remained a threat not only to the Middle East but domestically, because of its ability to motivate Islamic radicals, Mr Key said.

"The threat to New Zealand and New Zealand's [interests] remains a real one."

Mr Key could not rule out a further extension to the deployment beyond November 2018, but said he did not want the New Zealand Defence Force to be in Iraq "forever".

He was "extremely reluctant" to change the mission to allow any troops to go beyond the wire.

"It's just not quite job done yet," Mr Key said.

- NZ Herald

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