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Afghanistan: Australian Soldier Killed, 3 Wounded

Australian Soldier Killed In Afghanistan

It is with deep regret the Australian Defence Force announces the death of Signaller Sean McCarthy during operations in Afghanistan.

Signaller Sean McCarthy was killed in a road-side bomb attack in the Oruzgan Province on Tuesday 8 July 2008.

25 year old Signaller McCarthy was from the Perth based Special Air Service Regiment.




An Australian soldier serving with the Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) in Afghanistan has been killed in a road-side bomb attack in Afghanistan.

Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus (ACM) Houston said the soldier was killed Tuesday afternoon (AEST) when Australian soldiers were conducting a patrol in southern Afghanistan.

“Signaller Sean McCarthy, who was 25 years of age and from the Perth based Special Air Service Regiment, was killed yesterday afternoon when the vehicle he was travelling in was struck by a road-side bomb,” Air Chief Marshal Houston said.

Two other Australian soldiers were also wounded by the Improvised Explosive Device (IED). Their condition is assessed as serious but stable. Due to the nature of wounds, a medical assessment has not yet been concluded to determine whether they will be required to return to Australia for further medical treatment.

In accordance with Defence policy, their names will not be released.

A third Coalition national who was working with the Australian patrol was also wounded in the IED strike. His condition is assessed as serious but not life threatening. He is currently being treated at a medical facility in Afghanistan. Defence will not provide further information on this person.

The wounded soldiers and Coalition national along with the body of Signaller McCarthy were immediately evacuated by helicopter to a medical facility at Tarin Kowt.

ACM Houston said repatriation planning for Signaller McCarthy’s body has begun.

“This is a tragic day for the ADF and, on behalf of the entire Defence Organisation I extend my deepest sympathies to the family, colleagues and friends of Signaller McCarthy. At times like these we need to be strong and to offer our full support to his family and friends. Our best wishes are also with the wounded soldiers in the hope that they make a speedy recovery.”

ACM Houston said he also expressed his best wishes to the Coalition national who was also wounded in the attack.

Defence has notified the immediate families of all soldiers involved and is providing assistance to them during this very difficult time.

“Our soldiers continue to acquit themselves magnificently. However, due to the nature of special operations, no further details can be released at this time,” Air Chief Marshal Houston said.

Signaller McCarthy’s death marks the sixth fatality since Australia commenced operations in Afghanistan in 2002.


SIG Sean Patrick McCarthy was born on 5 January 1983 in Auckland, NZ.

Sean enlisted into the Australian Defence Force on the 10 July 2001. After initial recruit training and completion of mandatory courses, Sean posted to 7 Sig Regt on the 14 July 2003.

Sean posted to SASR on the 15 January 2007 and has been an active member of the Regiment ever since.

Sean’s Operational service includes deploying as part of the Special Operations Task Group (SOTG V) in 2007; Operation Astute in East Timor in 2008 before redeploying to Afghanistan as part of his most recent deployment.

Sean served in East Timor and Afghanistan, and in recognition of his service was awarded the Australian Active Service Medal with the International Coalition Against Terrorism Clasp and Return from Active Service Badge, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Australian Defence Medal and the NATO ISAF Medal.

Sean was the recipient of a SOCAUST commendation awarded on the 20 June 2008 for his actions in Afghanistan in 2007 as part of SOTG Rotation V. Sean was awarded this for his excellent application of battle craft in a complex, dangerous and confusing situation.

Sean was an avid rugby union fan. He was a respected member of his Troop and well liked by his colleagues.


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