Dig­ger cleared in shoot­ing death of Afghan suspect

Townsville Bulletin - - Text The Editor -

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

‘‘ immi-

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.