28 May 2009

Australian Defence Force inquiry clears troops of civilian casualty incident

Today ACM Angus Houston, RAAF, Chief of the Defence Force, released a report clearing Australian troops of an incident involving civilians which occurred on 5 January 2009 in the Baluchi Pass area of Afghanistan according to an ADF press release located here. No evidence was found to support a finding that the ADF caused civilian casualties. The media release indicates that "evidence gathered during the inquiry found that shrapnel taken from an Afghan who claimed to have been injured by ADF forces did not match the metal used in Australian mortar shells." Whilst the Inquiry Officer did clear troops, several recommendations were made for areas of improvement, including the clarification of the terminology used to order a fire mission and a review of current and future force structures.

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