A New Zealand SAS soldier who was shot dead in Afghanistan may have been caught up in family feud, it has been alleged.

Lance Corporal Smith was shot in the head during an operation in Wardak province, southwest of Kabul, at a compound suspected of housing Taleban bomb-makers preparing for an attack in the capital.

An Afghan Crisis Response Unit of about 50 men went to the compound with an Interior Ministry arrest warrant.

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