This is the third Australian soldier death in Afghanistan within a week. The first soldier to die was killed by an IED. His body has just been returned home. Now comes the news of two more deaths. Here is the latest report on these incidents. What is really shocking is that in the second incident, where the soldier did not die at the scene, but he died later in hospital, he was shot by an Afghan National soldier. We are training these people!!!!! The circumstances of the incident are under investigation and the Afghan has not been apprehended. To this I add that another Afghan on the scene did attempt to shoot at the fleeing man.
I have been very proud of the fine job that has been done by Air Vice Marshall Angus Huston. It is always with pride that I can say that when I lived in Townsville for a period of a year, Angus and his family were my next door neighbours. He has been exemplary in this particular job, even though it has been very hard on him. Angus will be stepping down as chief of Defence by the end of June.
Here is an extended report on the deaths of the two Australian soldiers. It should be noted that the Australian soldier killed by the Afghan soldier was flown to a base where the medical assistance was provided by American doctors. He died of his injuries on the operating table.
What is interesting about the report is that it describes some of the security precautions that are put in place with regard to the Afghan soldiers. My question: was it enoough? How can anyone be sure about this Afghan? He was obviously a renegade. He was a new arrival at the base, and he got into an argument with the Australian and then shot him at least 3 times.
The other Australian to die was a helicopter pilot, whose Chinook had crashed. There were 5 others injured in the crash. It should be noted that the pilot had been active with rescue work during the floods.