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
"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.