New Zealand infantry performs Maori haka in spine-tingling farewell to fallen comradesVideo of moving tribute goes viral after being released by NZ Defence ForceShows 200 soldiers performing ancestral war cry at funeral in ChristchurchCorporal Luke Tamatea, Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker and Private Richard Harris were killed by roadside bomb in AfghanistanHaka illustrated men”s “outpouring of emotion”, says NZ army spokesman

A spine-tingling video showing around 200 New Zealand soldiers performing the Maori haka at the funeral of three fallen comrades has gone viral.

Members of the 2nd and 1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment performed the ancestral war cry to show their “collective grief” at the deaths of Corporal Luke Tamatea, 31, Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker, 26, and 21-year-old Private Richard Harris.

Footage of Saturday”s service has been viewed more than 340,000 times on YouTube since being released by the NZ Defence Force.

Tribute to the fallen: Soldiers from the 2nd and 1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment follow the hearse at the funeral of three comrades killed in Afghanistan

Tribute to the fallen: Soldiers from the 2nd and 1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment follow the hearse at the funeral of three comrades killed in Afghanistan

Spine-tingling: The car carrying the bodies is surrounded by 200 infantrymen as they take part in a moving performance of the Maori haka

Spine-tingling: The car carrying the bodies is surrounded by 200 infantrymen as they take part in a moving performance of the Maori haka

It shows the infantrymen surrounding the car carrying the bodies of the soldiers, who were killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan on August 18, at the Burnham Military Camp in Christchurch.

Major John Gordon, a spokesman for the NZ army, said the haka tribute illustrated the men”s “outpouring of emotion”.

He told the NZ Herald: “Many soldiers don’t tend to show their emotions. But today, you saw their collective grief.”

The tribute was also tweeted by former tabloid editor and current CNN interviewer Piers Morgan, who called it “astounding, and deeply moving.”

“Collective grief”: Major John Gordon, a spokesman for the NZ army, said the haka tribute illustrated the men”s “outpouring of emotion”

Gone viral: Footage of Saturday

Gone viral: Footage of Saturday”s service has been viewed more than 340,000 times on YouTube since being released by the NZ Defence Force

Strong tradition: The haka is a war cry or dance originally performed by Maori warriors before battle and is characterised by vigorous arm movements, stamping of the feet and rhythmically shouted accompaniment

Strong tradition: The haka is a war cry or dance originally performed by Maori warriors before battle and is characterised by vigorous arm movements, stamping of the feet and rhythmically shouted accompaniment

John Key, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, which has lost ten soldiers in Afghanistan, said the country would withdraw from the conflict in early 2013.

They had been due to leave later that year, but Mr Key stressed talks on early withdrawal had started before the trio”s deaths.

The haka is a traditional war cry or dance originally performed by Maori warriors before battle and is characterised by vigorous arm movements, stamping of the feet and rhythmically shouted accompaniment.

Today, haka form a crucial part of ceremonies for dignitaries to create a sense of occasion.

There are various forms, perhaps the best-known of which is performed by the All Blacks rugby union team before matches.

Tragedy: Corporal Luke Tamatea, 31, Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker, 26, and 21-year-old Private Richard Harris were killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan

Tragedy: Corporal Luke Tamatea, 31, Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker, 26, and 21-year-old Private Richard Harris were killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan