Australian soldier killed in Afghanistan

Friday, October 26, 2007

Map of Afghanistan showing Orūzgān Province.
Image: Gololbez.

Matthew Locke, an Australian special forces soldier with the Special Air Service Regiment (SAS) has been shot and killed while taking part in a 300-man special operatives attack against the Taliban in Afghanistan. The death, Australia's third combat soldier death since the Vietnam War, is the second to occur in October.

The soldier, believed to be employed in Perth, Australia in the State of Western Australia and married with an unknown amount of children, was immediately lifted from the scene by the aero-medical helicopter evacuation team and was pronounced dead early this morning after suffering critical wounds throughout his chest. It is reported that he had received "high bravery honors" just before the battle.

Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston was quoted saying fine details of the operation, which took place in the Orūzgān Province, would not be released as it would "aid the Taliban [and] ... add to the dangers already facing our special operations troops."

"The soldier's mates reacted to the incident by extracting the soldier from further danger and providing immediate first aid. Their courage under fire and their determination to help a fallen mate is to be commended," added Houston who also stated that no other soldiers were injured or wounded during the fighting.