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Shooting Incident In Afghanistan -- ADF

Shooting Incident In Afghanistan

Australian Defence Force soldiers in Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan, were involved in a shooting incident yesterday 24 July 2007 at approximately 1.15 pm.

Private Justin Paul from the 7th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment

A patrol from the Reconstruction Task Force fired at a vehicle when the driver sped towards them after being directed to stop.

The soldiers responded to the approaching vehicle in a graduated way with verbal and visual signals consistent with their rules of engagement. When the vehicle failed to stop the soldiers fired at it.

The driver of the vehicle was killed in the incident.

There is currently a significant threat of vehicle borne improvised explosive devices in Tarin Kowt. The vehicle failed to comply with clear directions to stop and in doing so presented a real threat to Australian personnel.

Afghanistan remains a dangerous place and the threat of vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIED) is real. This was illustrated in Uruzgan Province earlier this month when a suicide bomber killed 17 and injured many more in Deh Rawood.

The Australian Defence Force has started an investigation in accordance with procedures that are put into effect whenever there is a serious incident involving Australian personnel on operations.

Defence is obviously concerned about any loss of life and as a consequence Australian forces operate under Rules of Engagement that aim to avoid and minimise civilian casualties.

It would be inappropriate to comment further until the investigation is complete.


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