3 Australian Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan

Posted August 30th, 2012 at 2:50 am (UTC-5)
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Five Australian soldiers have been killed in what Prime Minister Julia Gillard calls the country's “single worst day in Afghanistan.”

NATO officials say a person wearing an Afghan National Army uniform shot and killed three soldiers late Wednesday at a base in southern Afghanistan.

Two others died early Thursday when their helicopter crashed in Helmand province. NATO said there was no enemy activity in the area at the time of the crash, and that both incidents are under investigation.

Ms. Gillard says Australia cannot let such deaths change its strategy, and that the country remains committed to completing its mission.

Australia has more than 1,500 troops in Afghanistan. It announced earlier this year that its forces will withdraw from the country in mid-2013, a year earlier than previously planned.

The latest deaths bring the number of Australian troops killed in the Afghan war to 38.

Foreign combat troops are transferring security control to Afghan forces and are scheduled to be out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014.