New Zealand ordered a top-level inquiry today into allegations its special forces killed six civilians, including a three-year-old child, during a botched 2010 raid on an Afghan village.
The New Zealand military vehemently denies the accusations, which were first made in a book "Hit and Run" published last year.
It also claimed the military covered up the raid's failure, falsely saying nine insurgents had died when it knew otherwise.
"Bearing in mind the need for the public to have confidence in the NZDF, I have decided in the public interest that an inquiry is warranted," he said.
Parker said he had seen video of the raid suggesting there were "armed individuals" in the village but the footage was not conclusive, hence the need for the inquiry.
It will examine the conduct of troops during the raid, whether those killed were insurgents or civilians and the accuracy of military briefings given to the public and the government.
It is expected to take up to a year.
"At all times throughout this operation our NZSAS acted professionally and conducted themselves to the high standards expected of our special forces," he said.
New Zealand sent a reconstruction team and a small special forces contingent to join the NATO-led operation in Afghanistan in 2003.
The SAS raid in the northern province of Baghlan, carried out with US helicopter support, took place about two weeks later on August 22.
The New Zealand military initially kept silent about its involvement, then said nine insurgents were killed and no civilians harmed.
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