Australian soldier dies on 7th tour of Afghanistan
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An elite Australian soldier was shot dead during his seventh tour of duty in Afghanistan, a commander said Tuesday, raising the number of Australian troops killed in the more-than-decade-long war to 33.
The 40-year-old veteran of the Special Air Service Regiment was killed in the Chora Valley in Uruzgan province on Monday during an operation involving Australian and Afghan troops targeting an insurgent commander, Australian Defense Force Chief Lt. Gen. David Hurley said.
The soldier was evacuated with a chest wound to the military hospital at the Australian base at Tarin Kowt but could not be resuscitated, Hurley said. His name has not been made public at his family's request.
Hurley said it was "probably unusual" that a soldier had served seven tours, but he added that he does not believe soldiers are not being asked to do too much.
"I'm confident that the (psychological) management processes are in place ... and all of them are volunteers to go back to serve in Afghanistan," he told reporters.
"But it's an issue we need to keep a sharp eye on," he added.
Neil James, executive director of the Australian Defense Association, an influential security think-tank, said it's "unusual, but not that unusual" for an SAS soldier to have so many Afghan tours.
"The real problem is the country is expecting a very small part of the national family to bear the burden of its wars, and the association doesn't think that's right," he added.
The Australian Defense Force needs to share the fighting load more broadly among its 58,000 troops, he said.
News Photo Galleriesview all
- 20729Oklahoma medical examiner reports cause of deaths in Grand Lake boat crash
- 17578Oklahoma City Thunder: Amnesty Kendrick Perkins?
- 11978Rockets guard Patrick Beverley bombarded with hateful Tweets after Thunder get eliminated
- 10703Rx drug bills sent to Oklahoma governor
- 8989Report: OSU blocking Wes Lunt from transferring to the SEC, Big 12 and Southern Miss
- 8551Tulsa man tells police he smashed woman's head in self-defense
- 8339Oklahoma football: Sooners get pair of commitments