Two Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan

11:09, May 31, 2011      

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Two Australian soldiers have been killed in separate incidents in Afghanistan, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston announced on Tuesday.

The incidents on Monday coincided with the arrival home of the body of Sergeant Brett Wood, who was killed in Afghanistan more than a week ago in a bomb blast.

According to Defense force chief Angus Houston, it was "a very bad day" for the Australian Defense Force.

"It was with immense sorrow that I am here this morning to announce the death of two Australian soldiers in Afghanistan in two separate incidents overnight," he told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.

One of the soldiers was a 25-year-old, Queensland-based lance corporal who was shot by an Afghan National Army soldier with whom he was serving on guard duty at a patrol base in the Chora Valley.

The Australian, from the Mentoring Task Force, was airlifted to the Australian base at Tarin Kowt but died from his wounds.

The Afghan soldier fled the scene and escaped, despite being shot at by another Afghan soldier.

Houston said it was yet to be determined whether the fatal shooting was accidental or deliberate, adding that the circumstances of the 25-year-old soldier's death were disturbing, given that Australian personnel were training and mentoring elements of the Afghan National Army.

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