Another Australian soldier has been killed and five wounded in two separate incidents in Afghanistan.
Sergeant Brett Wood was a highly decorated commando he was serving his third tour of duty there.
Christopher Steele reports.
The attack took place in Uruzgan province in southern Afghanistan.
An improvised explosive device detonated, killing Sergeant Wood and seriously injuring two other diggers.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard paid tribute to the dead soldier the third Australian fatality in Afghanistan this year.
Julia Gillard, Prime Minister: “He was a young man who dedicated his life to the defence of this nation. This is a very difficult day for the nation, most particularly a very difficult day for his family.”
A decorated soldier, Sergeant Wood received the Medal for Gallantry in 2006, after previous deployments in Bougainville, East Timor and Iraq.
Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston says he was serving with the elite 2 Commando Company when he was killed.
Angus Houston, Air Chief Marshal: “They’re a magnificent unit, they’re a unit of warriors, and to a large extent they have been the unit most involved in our front line operations in Afghanistan, and I hold them in the highest regard.”
Sergeant Wood is the 12th Australian soldier to die in Afghanistan in the last 12 months. The 24th during Australia’s deployment there.
Stephen Smith, Defence Minister: “For 23 other Australian families, this will also be a terrible reminder of the personal and family sacrifice they have seen.”
In a separate incident, three more Australian soldiers were wounded after a gun fight with insurgents, as the traditional summer “fighting season” begins.
Christopher Steele, QUT News.