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Afghanistan Fatality

  • July 5th, 2011
  • Posted by EUEditor

afghanistan-australia-flag32.jpgThe death has been announced of Special Forces Sergeant Todd Langley, 35, in an exchange of fire (4.7.11) in Southern  Afghanistan.

In a separate incident during the same operation against Taliban insurgents another soldier was seriously wounded, last reported in a stable condition in hospital.

COMMANDO OPERATION

An experienced and decorated Special Forces soldier from the 2nd Commando Regiment, in Sydney, Sgt. Langley was shot in the head and died in a short time, on the battle-field.

He was on his fifth deployment to Afghanistan.

The announcement was made by the Defence Minister, Stephen Smith, and the new Head of the Australian Defence Force, General David Hurley – one day into his present position.

The General said there has been “quite a number” of enemy casualties during the operation.

WHAT ARE WE FIGHTING FOR?

The Minister said Taliban forces had been making a predicted fight-back against allied incursions during the so-called “Summer fighting season”, as well as “high profile” attacks, such as terrorist strikes staged with a propaganda impact.

At the same time there were very early signs of outreach towards a political settlement of the conflict.

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, said:

“We are very clear that our national interests are in line with the engagement in Afghanistan.

“It is countering the insurgency, e moving safe havens, and giving us space and time to train the Afghan National Army … to allow Afghan forces to step up to leadership in maintaining security.”

Australia has lost 28 killed in the present Afghanistan campaign, seven this year, with 180 wounded.

It has a 1500-strong commitment in the country as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) under a command structure operated by the NATO alliance.

It is rated as the tenth largest international contingent, third in the Special Forces category.

The commitment runs to the end of 2014.

RECENT INCIDENTS

Among the recent losses, Lance Corporal Andrew Jones was shot by a member of the Afghan forces working with his unit, at the end of May. (See EUAustralia Online, “Details on soldier deaths”, 2.6.11).

The offender was tracked by Australian Special Forces, and later found in his home area, confronted and killed by American and Afghan troops.

Defence sources said they did not think the Taliban had organised the attack that he made.

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