Market Commentary and Intraday News
Five Australian Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan
265 days ago
(RTTNews) - Five Australian soldiers have been killed in two separate incidents in Afghanistan, Australia's acting defense force chief Mark Binskin confirmed at a press conference held in capital Canberra on Thursday.
"Australia has lost five men today. They are soldiers who were committed to serving our nation," Air Marshall Binskin said, adding that the families of the deceased soldiers had been notified of their loss.
While three Australian soldiers were shot dead by a man wearing an Afghan army uniform in Uruzgan province on Wednesday, remaining two were killed in a helicopter crash in Helmand province on Thursday.
Later on Thursday, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard paid tribute to the five deceased soldiers and noted that "in a war of so many losses this is our single worst day in Afghanistan".
Earlier in the day, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement posted on its website that three of its service personnel were killed by an "individual wearing an Afghan National Army uniform" in the south of the country.
The ISAF also announced the deaths in the helicopter crash in a separate statement issued Thursday. It, however, did not disclose the identities or nationalities of the deceased solders in accordance with its policy of not disclosing details until the home country of the victims does so. Nevertheless, the coalition force said an investigation had been launched into Wednesday's incident.
It was the latest in a series of such incidents of civilians or militants, disguised as Afghan security personnel, as well as Afghan soldiers themselves targeting ISAF personnel. It is now estimated that at least 45 ISAF personnel have so far been killed in some 30 such incidents, labeled by the media as "green-on-blue" attack.
Some 1,500 Australian soldiers are currently in Afghanistan as part of the international coalition force under ISAF command. Most of them are stationed in Uruzgan province. The latest fatalities take the total number of Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan since 2002 to thirty-eight.
Currently, there are over 130,000 foreign troops from more than 42 countries under the joint command of the NATO and the United States in Afghanistan to contain a resurgent Taliban in the land-locked country.
The US and other allied nations involved in the Afghan mission are currently making serious efforts to get the Afghan security forces ready and capable of handling the country's security before the planned withdrawal of coalition troops by the end of 2014.
However, there are wide concerns about the ability of Afghan security forces to counter Taliban insurgency without the same level of foreign military assistance and presence.
For comments and feedback: contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright(c) 2012 RTTNews.com. All Rights Reserved