Report into soldier's death released

DETAILS of a Defence Department inquiry into how and why Australian soldier Lance Corporal Andrew Jones was killed in Afghanistan last year were released on Friday morning.

The report revealed there was no hint that Afghani National Army soldier Shafied Ullah was a traitor until he shot and killed LCpl Jones on May 30 last year. Afghani soldiers were "visibly upset" by Ullah's actions, joining patrols to find him, the report said.

Findings on the deaths of fellow Australian commandos Sergeant Brett Wood and Sergeant Todd Langley were not released..

LCpl Jones was shot by what the Department of Defence described as a "rogue member" of the coalition Afghani contingent, at Patrol Base Mashal, just north of Tarin Kot.

He was taken by air to the larger base in Tarin Kot but specialist staff were unable to save his life.

Mr Ullah was later found south-west of the province's capital where he was shot and killed after reportedly threatening the troops with a weapon as they tried to arrest him.

According to a statement from Department of Defence, "There were no prior warnings that identified Shafied Ullah as a specific threat nor was there any prior intelligence or indication within the base to warn of the possible attack against an Australian solider".

Vice chief of the Defence Force Air Marshal Mark Binskin said LCpl Jones was a popular soldier who served with dedication.

"An operational death is difficult to accept under any circumstances, but particularly so when it is caused by someone we were mentoring," he said.

Sgt Wood was killed and two fellow soldiers injured when an explosive placed by insurgents detonated on May 23, 2011.

He was posthumous awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for leadership in action and the United States Meritorious Medal.

Sgt Langley was killed by gunfire during a firefight with Afghanistan insurgents in the south of the country on July 4, 2011.

He was shot as he tried to support a fellow soldier who was wounded.

Sgt Langley was on his fifth tour of Afghanistan, having previously done two tours of East Timor.

In a statement on the inquiry into LCpl Jones's death, Air Marshal Binskin said the Australian Defence Force remained dedicated to its work in Afghanistan.



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