Rogue Afghan soldier shoots three Australians
Last Updated: Thursday, November 10, 2011, 12:03
Sydney: A rogue Afghan soldier was on the run on Wednesday after shooting and wounding three Australian troops, days after a similar incident left three Australians dead, the defence department said.

The men suffered serious wounds but all were in a stable condition after an Afghan National Army soldier opened fire with an automatic weapon and a grenade launcher at a joint base at Charmistan in Uruzgan province yesterday.

Two Afghan soldiers were also wounded before the man fled in an Afghan army vehicle.

The incident comes less than a fortnight after another Afghan soldier killed three Australians and wounded seven others when he opened fire during a parade in Kandahar province.

"It is too early to speculate that the two incidents are linked," defence force chief David Hurley told reporters, adding that nine or 10 Australians and about 30 Afghans were at the base when the latest attack occurred.

"I stress that there is no simple one-line explanation to this incident or the previous incident.

"We need to do some digging, further digging," he added when asked whether he knew of the motive. "It could be personal grievance, it could be religious ideology. We don't know, there was no indication."

It was the third such shooting to affect Australian troops this year, after an Afghan soldier killed an Australian lance corporal in May as they shared guard duties at a patrol base in the Chora Valley.

The latest incident took place just days after Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard visited Afghanistan, making an unannounced stopover to meet troops in the restive southern province of Uruzgan.

She said today that Australians would continue to train Afghan National Army soldiers, despite the risk.


First Published: Wednesday, November 09, 2011, 16:03

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