Digger cleared in shooting death of Afghan suspect
AN Afghan man shot dead by an Australian soldier in Oruzgan last month posed an imminent threat to a joint patrol, Defence says.
An internal inquiry into the February 14 incident in t he Chora Valley region found that the Australian soldier acted in accordance with rules of engagement.
The Afghan man was obs e r v e d b e havi ng s us p i c - iously by National Army and Australian Mentoring Task Force patrol, which was conducting security operations near a village.
He 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 halt, instead revealing a device that appeared to be like those used by insurgents to detonate radio-controlled Improvised Explosive Devices.
On identifying the
Lt-Gen Mark Evans nent threat’’ to his Afghan and Australian patrol mates, the soldier shot him. The device was confirmed to be a portable radio transmitter often used to detonate explosive devices.
The review also confirmed strong links between the individual and an insurgent cell operating in the area.
Chief of Joint Operations Lieutenant General Mark Evans said the soldier acted within the rules of engagement.