An Australian soldier serving with the Mentoring and Reconstruction Task Force (MRTF) in Afghanistan has been killed in an engagement with insurgents.
The soldier was part of a joint patrol with the Afghan National Army near Kakarak, north of Tarin Kowt in Oruzgan Province. No other Australians were wounded in the engagement
Initial reports indicate that the patrol was engaged by a group of around 20 Taliban insurgents using small arms fire and rocket propelled grenades, around mid-morning on Monday, Afghanistan time.
The patrol returned fire and provided first aid to the wounded soldier.
He was evacuated by a Coalition helicopter to the nearby medical facility in Tarin Kowt as soon as security situation allowed. Despite all efforts, it was confirmed that he had passed away on arrival at Tarin Kowt hospital.
The Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said the loss of the soldier would be felt throughout the ADF.
“The Defence family is in mourning today for the loss of a fine, courageous soldier. Our deepest sympathy goes out to his family,” Air Chief Marshal Houston said.
“Incidents such as this only strengthen our resolve to continue our important mission.”
At the request of the soldier’s family, Defence is not releasing his name at this time.
(Source: Department of Defence, Australia)