Afghanistan — Two Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan

Two Aus­tralian sol­diers serv­ing with the 1st Men­tor­ing Task Force in Afghanistan have been killed in action.

The two sol­diers from the Bris­bane-based 2nd Com­bat Engi­neer Reg­i­ment died as a result of wounds sus­tained when an impro­vised explo­sive device det­o­nat­ed yes­ter­day morn­ing, Afghanistan time.

They were part of an Aus­tralian dis­mount­ed patrol con­duct­ing oper­a­tions in the Mirabad Val­ley region of Oruz­gan province.

One of the sol­diers was killed at the time of the explo­sion. The oth­er sol­dier received emer­gency first aid from his patrol mates and was sub­se­quent­ly aero-med­ical­ly evac­u­at­ed to a near­by ISAF hos­pi­tal. Sad­ly, the sol­dier died from his wounds.

There were no oth­er Aus­tralian or Afghan casu­al­ties, how­ev­er, an explo­sive detec­tion dog also died in the inci­dent.

The Act­ing Chief of the Defence Force, Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al David Hur­ley, said he was deeply sad­dened by the loss of the two brave sol­diers.

“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,” Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al Hur­ley said.

“To the fam­i­lies and friends of these two sol­diers, I also offer my heart­felt sym­pa­thies and the full sup­port of the Aus­tralian Defence Force, par­tic­u­lar­ly, in the com­ing days as we pre­pare to bring these sol­diers home.

“The sol­diers’ fam­i­lies have asked that their names not be released at this time and I would ask you to respect this request while they grieve.”

The Aus­tralian patrol had ear­li­er in the day uncov­ered three sub­stan­tial caches of weapons and ammu­ni­tion includ­ing 1,600 rounds of ammu­ni­tion, 23 rock­et pro­pelled grenades, five mor­tar rounds and fus­es.

An inves­ti­ga­tion will be ini­ti­at­ed in order to deter­mine the exact details of the inci­dent.

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

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Aus­tralia