New Zealand troops were fortunate not to be killed in a Taleban ambush deliberately set up to unsettle them just days after their arrival in Afghanistan.

The insurgents hit the patrol convoy with rocket-propelled grenades before firing bullets into their windscreens as they reversed up a one-lane road in the mountainous Bamiyan province.

The Taleban then mounted a further attack before the New Zealanders were bailed out by two American Apache helicopter gunships.

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