Death of Afghan child
7 April 2011
On 29 March 2011, Defence advised that an Afghan child had been injured during a contact with insurgents. Defence regrets to inform that the child has since passed away as a result of complications arising from injuries sustained during the engagement.
On 27 March 2011, Afghan National Police Provincial Response Company-Uruzgan (PRC-U) and Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) personnel were engaged by a group of approximately four insurgents who fired from a creek-line near the village of Sah Zafar. The PRC-U and SOTG returned fire.
Following the engagement, the partnered patrol immediately conducted a follow up and found one insurgent had been killed and one child who had gunshot wounds to his upper body.
Immediate medical assistance was provided to the child by the PRC-U and SOTG before he was aero medically evacuated to a medical facility in Tarin Kot. The child was then transferred to a military hospital in Kandahar for ongoing treatment.
The Australian Defence Force moved the child’s father to be with him whilst he received treatment at ISAF medical facilities. The Australian Defence Force also moved other members of the child’s family to be with him while he received treatment.
Sadly the child’s condition continued to deteriorate and following consultation with medical staff, the child’s family made the decision to cease life support. The child’s family remained with him when he passed away on Saturday 2 April. Defence understands that he was 23 months old.
Defence deeply regrets any loss of innocent life or injuries to civilians and is continuously acting to reduce the risk of such incidents happening. At this stage, it is not known who caused the child’s injuries. A Defence Inquiry has begun into the incident.
Out of respect for the family, Defence will not, at this stage, be releasing further information about the child.
Media contact: Defence Media Operations 02 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664