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Hit and Run claims - what they're saying:

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/03/2017

What the main players are saying about allegations New Zealand SAS forces were involved in the killing of Afghan civilians during raids in August 2010.

* "[There are two possibilities] - one is the government has been misleading the public but the other is the government has not been told the truth by our military, which is also very serious," - Hit and Run co-author Nicky Hager.

* "The New Zealand Defence Force stands by the statement it made dated 20 April 2011. The NZDF is confident that New Zealand personnel conducted themselves in accordance with the applicable rules of engagement," - New Zealand Defence Force statement.

* "The book, very recently published, doesn't yet appear to have substantiated enough of the allegations, or any of the allegations, to warrant an inquiry. However we will continue to be briefed. We are simply not going to be rushed into such a serious undertaking," - Prime Minister Bill English.

* "You can rule out New Zealanders being responsible for any deaths ... can't rule out that people died at the hands of other forces," - Former defence minister Jonathan Coleman.

* I think they [NZDF] have our best interests at heart, they have great integrity and I'm backing them," - Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett.

"I don't think there is any reason for the government to be defensive about what has happened but there are clearly very serious allegations made and I think for the sake of the reputation of our SAS, for the sake of the Defence Force generally and of New Zealand internationally, New Zealanders are entitled to know what the truth is," - Labour leader Andrew Little.

* "If there is nothing to hide, then there is nothing stopping [Prime Minister] Bill English from announcing a full, independent inquiry into those allegations today," - Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei

* "What New Zealand must do is appoint a respected and trustworthy individual who the public can have faith in, and get an inquiry underway immediately," - NZ First leader Winston Peters.

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