Three Australian Diggers wounded in a shooting attack in Afghanistan

Three Aus­tralian sol­diers have been seri­ous­ly wound­ed and two of their Afghan part­ners have sus­tained minor wounds in an inci­dent involv­ing an Afghan Nation­al Army (ANA) sol­dier in east­ern Uruz­gan yes­ter­day after­noon (Tues­day, 8 Novem­ber 2011 local Afghan time).

The sol­diers were mem­bers of Men­tor­ing Task Force ‑3 (MTF‑3), oper­at­ing with their Afghan part­ners at a patrol base in the Charmes­tan region, north east of Tarin Kot when an ANA sol­dier locat­ed in an over­watch posi­tion opened fire on the troops using an auto­mat­ic weapon and a grenade launcher. 

All five wound­ed sol­diers were treat­ed at the scene then aero med­ical­ly evac­u­at­ed to the Role 2 hos­pi­tal at Mul­ti Nation­al Base – Tarin Kot. 

The three Aus­tralians were sub­se­quent­ly trans­ferred to the ISAF Role 3 med­ical facil­i­ty at Kan­da­har Air­field for emer­gency treatment. 

The Chief of the Defence Force, Gen­er­al David Hur­ley said the three Aus­tralian sol­diers remain in a seri­ous condition. 

“The wound­ed sol­diers’ fam­i­lies have now been informed and Defence is work­ing to sup­port them. 

“Assist­ing the fam­i­lies is always our high­est pri­or­i­ty fol­low­ing the treat­ment and care of the wound­ed,” Gen­er­al Hur­ley said. 

The two Afghan sol­diers are list­ed as satisfactory. 

The offend­ing ANA sol­dier, who was a mem­ber of the 3rd Kan­dak, fled in an ANA vehicle. 

“He was ini­tial­ly pur­sued by ANA mem­bers at the patrol base and an oper­a­tion is cur­rent­ly under­way aimed at appre­hend­ing him. 

“Imme­di­ate­ly fol­low­ing the inci­dent Brigadier Gen­er­al Mohammed Zafar Khan ordered that mem­bers of the 3rd Kan­dak at Patrol Base Nasir be dis­armed and con­fined to bar­racks,” Gen­er­al Hur­ley said. Addi­tion­al MTF per­son­nel from a near­by patrol base have moved for­ward to Patrol Base Nasir and are pro­vid­ing secu­ri­ty and overwatch. 

“I under­stand the reac­tion many Aus­tralians will have to news of this lat­est inci­dent so soon after the deaths of three sol­diers in sim­i­lar cir­cum­stances, how­ev­er it is too ear­ly to spec­u­late whether these two inci­dents are linked. 

“At this time the motive for the shoot­ing is unknown,” Gen­er­al Hur­ley said. 

Com­bined Aus­tralian and Afghan inves­ti­ga­tions into the shoot­ing inci­dent are now underway. 

32 Aus­tralian sol­diers have been killed dur­ing oper­a­tions in Afghanistan. 

212 Aus­tralian Defence Force mem­bers have been wound­ed dur­ing oper­a­tions in Afghanistan. 

47 Aus­tralian Defence Force mem­bers have been wound­ed in Afghanistan dur­ing 2011. 

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

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