Defence Internal Review into Fatal Shooting of Afghan Man Clears Australian Soldiers
Uruzgan, Afghanistan (News4us.com) March 08, 2011
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.
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