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Afghanistan: Two Australians Among Ten Allied Deaths …

  • June 8th, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor

afghanistan-patrol.jpgTwo Australian soldiers have been killed on patrol in Afghanistan’s Oruzgan Province, during a day in which altogether ten soldiers from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) lost their lives (8.6.10).

They were Sapper Jacob Moerland, 21, and Sapper Darren Smith, 26, from the Brisbane-based 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment, who’d been serving with the 1st Mentoring Task Force – the unit charged with developing an Afghan army Brigade, during operations in the South-eastern province.

They died after a Taliban bomb  — an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) — went off, killing one instantly, the other dying later in hospital.

afghanistan-australia-flag2.jpgThere were no other Australian or Afghan casualties reported from the incident in Oruzgan province.

A bomb detector dog handled by one of the men was killed.

Seven Americans and a French Foreign Legionnaire also died on Tuesday, though the Acting Chief of the Australian Defence Force, Lieutenant General David Hurley, said that high toll did not appear to signify any new initiative by Taliban insurgents.

“There’s a lot going on; a lot of troops are in action; it was a hard day in theatre”, he said.

He praised the sappers.

“Their role is a dangerous one – seeking out explosive devices and other threats – to keep their colleagues safe.

“They are fighting a determined enemy in the Taliban, whose aim is to kill and maim coalition soldiers and Afghan security personnel.”

Thirteen Australian soldiers have now been killed in Afghanistan since operations commenced.

Australian forces are part of the ISAF structure set up by NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance.

Reference

Defence Department, Canberra, media release, Two Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan, 8.6.10. http://www.defence.gov.au/defencenews/stories/2010/Jun/0806.htm

Pictures  Defence Australia

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