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Afghanistan Shooting

  • August 11th, 2007
  • Posted by 7thmin

defence-brigadier.jpgNATO’s Afghanistan operations were again being brought home to civilians, with Australians under alliance command involved in two clashes with Taliban insurgents — and voters in Germany signaling their continuing hesitation about the commitment.

TWO AUSTRALIANS WOUNDED

The Australian Defence Force has disclosed that two members of a Special Forces patrol were wounded in a clash with Taliban troops in Oruzgan province, in Southern Afghanistan, in the first week of August.

One was evacuated to a coalition hospital outside of Afghanistan with serious but not life threatening injuries; he is in a stable condition, responding well to treatment ahead of being sent home for convalescence.

The other soldier had superficial wounds and was reported to have returned to duty in high spirits.

ATTACK NEAR TARIN KOWT BASE

In a separate incident soldiers supporting a Reconstruction Task Force project were attacked by the Taliban using small arms and rocket propelled grenades in an incident lasting two hours, near the Oruzgan capital Tarin Kowt.

Brigadier Andrew Nikolic, military Director General of Public Affairs, said (10.8.07) Australian light armoured vehicles arriving on the scene also came under fire, and allied helicopter support was called in.

“The Taliban attack was unsuccessful with no Australians wounded, no vehicles damaged and no disruption to the engineer task,” he said.

“The Taliban is known to have suffered casualties during this engagement but we don’t routinely release the specific details suffered by our adversaries.”

AFGHAN DEBATE IN EUROPE

Political debate continues in European member countries of the North Atlantic Alliance, over the commitment to Afghanistan.

A national poll conducted by the Forsa organisation in Germany this week (10.8.07) identified persistent public disquiet, with 65% wanting the return of German forces from the country.

Germany has a group of 3400 stationed in Northern Afghanistan protecting civil reconstruction projects, and Tornado reconnaissance aircraft sent there early this year.

In debates within NATO, military commanders this year obtained assurances that German and other European forces deployed in the North of Afghanistan could be called on, if emergency situations developed in operations further South, where Taliban forces are stronger and more active.

Picture: Defence forces spokesman Brig. A. Nikolic

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