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New Australian Losses In Afghanistan

  • August 31st, 2012
  • Posted by EUEditor

afghanistan-australia-flag10.jpgThe loss of five Australian soldiers in Afghanistan this week brings to 38 the total number killed since the early stage of deployment there in 2002.

Three were killed by a man dressed in an Afghan army uniform in Oruzgan province, with two others injured; and within 24 hours another two soldiers lost their lives in a helicopter crash.

The attack from “within the ranks” adds to a tally of such treachery killings which, as intended by the perpetrators, increase pressure on the allies to cut short their commitments.


afghanistan-patrol.jpgThe incidents have occurred when Australians were required to parade with Afghan troops or share guard duties with them; or they have taken place in forward areas during patrols by the Afghan army with Australian mentoring forces.

This week, it was at a patrol base about 20 kilometres from the Australian base at Tarin Kowt.

Those killed were a Lance Corporal, aged 40, from the 2nd/14th Light Horse; a private soldier, 23, from the 6th Royal Australian Regiment of infantry; and a Sapper, 21, from the 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment. They were all based at Enoggera in Brisbane.

Less than 24 hours later, on Thursday morning Australian time (30.8.121), two men from the Special Forces, aged 30 and 23, died when a United States helicopter came down in the North of the country.

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, cut short her attendance at the Pacific Islands Forum, in Cook Islands, returning to Australia for briefings on the latest events.

She said that despite the heavy cost, progress was being made in the Afghanistan campaign.


Among previous incidents

Last November three Australians were killed, along with an Afghan interpreter, and seven Australians wounded, 29.10.11, when a man in Afghan army uniform fired on them during a parade

The incident, in which the gunman also was killed, took place at a forward patrol base.

At the end of May another Australian was killed at a patrol base North of the Australian headquarters at Tarin Kowt; and following that, the assailant was tracked down by allied troops to a village where he was killed. See EUAustralia Online, “Afghan rogue attack”, 31.10.11.


nz-troops-afghan-nzdf.jpgEarlier this month five New Zealanders were killed., three in a single bomb attack on their convoy; one of the group, a medic, becoming the first New Zealand woman to die in the present conflict. See picture, NZ troops in Afghanistan.

With ten New Zealand dead, the country’s government announced it would bring forward next year’s proposed withdrawal from Afghanistan to an earlier date, probably in April.

Some 1500 Australians and 145 New Zealanders are deployed in the campaign against Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan, as part of the International Security Assistance Force led by the NATO alliance.

The main Australian forces are set to be withdrawn by the end of 2013. See EUAustralia Online, “NATO Ministers planning Afghan pull-out”, 19.4.12.


Department of Defence, Australia, “Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan”, 30.8.12, (30.8.12).

Pictures  adf; nzdf