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Three Deaths In Afghanistan

  • June 21st, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor

blackhawk.jpgThree Australian commandos have died (21.6.10) when the helicopter taking them in to action crashed, in the Northern Kandahar province of Afghanistan.

Among fifteen on board, a soldier from one of the allied countries was also killed, and seven Australians survived — though all seven have been injured, two of them very seriously.

The accident happened in darkness, in rough country, towards 3 am; the helicopter was not brought down by enemy fire.

Senior military sources say that the operation they were embarked on, was on the lines of once conducted last week, and fully reported on the Australian Defence Department website; see “Insurgents driven out of Shah Wali Kot”, 16.6.10. http://www.defence.gov.au/defencenews/articles/0616.htm, (21.6.10).

With Parliament sitting in Canberra, the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, said: “We mourn them and pay tribute to them”.

The Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, said: “Having troops in the field is a test of character for them, and for our country too.”

As well as special forces, the Australian commitment to Afghanistan is concentrated on defending reconstruction work, and on training an Afghan army Brigade – and the government has stated that the commitment may end once the preparation of that Afghan unit is complete.

The head of the armed forces, Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston, said today: “Over time I think we will prevail; we have the right leadership and we have the right strategy.”

The Australian forces are serving as part of ISAF (International Security Assistance Force), set up by the NATO alliance in Afghanistan

Sixteen Australians have died during the campaign against Taliban insurgents; two weeks ago two soldiers working on bomb detection, with a dog called Herby, were killed when an improvised explosive device (IED) was detonated; (see EUAustralia,”Afghanistan: Two Australians among 10 allied deaths”, 8.6.10).


Reference

Defence Department – Australia, Canberra, “Three Australian commandos killed”, 21.6.10. http://www.defence.gov.au/defencenews/stories/2010/Jun/0621.htm, (21.6.10).

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