Mentoring Task Force operational incident

An Afghan man was shot and killed in the Cho­ra Val­ley region of Uruz­gan on Mon­day 14 Feb­ru­ary when he posed an immi­nent threat to a part­nered Afghan Nation­al Army and Aus­tralian Men­tor­ing Task Force – Two patrol.
The part­nered patrol was con­duct­ing local secu­ri­ty oper­a­tions near a vil­lage when it observed the man behav­ing sus­pi­cious­ly.

The Chief of Joint Oper­a­tions, Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al Mark Evans, said an inter­nal review con­duct­ed imme­di­ate­ly after the inci­dent found the man was direct­ed to halt three times using a com­bi­na­tion of the local Pash­tu and Dari lan­guages as well as vis­i­ble hand sig­nals and gestures.

“The review found the man failed to heed a repeat­ed direc­tion to halt and instead revealed a device that appeared to be like those used by insur­gents to det­o­nate Radio-Con­trolled Impro­vised Explo­sive Devices,” Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al Evans said.

“On iden­ti­fy­ing the immi­nent threat to his Afghan and Aus­tralian patrol mates, an Aus­tralian sol­dier engaged the man with small arms fire, killing him.” 

Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al Evans said the inter­nal review into the shoot­ing found that the sol­dier act­ed in accor­dance with his Rules of Engage­ment and the Laws of Armed Con­flict. “The device was sub­se­quent­ly con­firmed to be a portable radio trans­mit­ter often used by insur­gents to det­o­nate Radio-Con­trolled Impro­vised Explo­sive Devices.” 

“The review also con­firmed strong links between the indi­vid­ual and an insur­gent cell oper­at­ing in the area,” Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al Evans said.

“The threat of Impro­vised Explo­sive Devices in Afghanistan is ever present and our sol­diers and their Afghan part­ners go out on patrol every day aware of the dan­gers such weapons pose.”

Aus­tralian troops in Afghanistan employ rules of engage­ment that allow for the grad­u­at­ed use of force, up to and includ­ing lethal force, should it be required.

Media con­tact: Defence Media Oper­a­tions (02) 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664 

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

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