Inquiry into injured Afghan boy concludes
11 April 2014
Defence has concluded an inquiry into an incident in which an Afghan boy was injured during an engagement with suspected insurgents in Uruzgan Province on 1 May 2012.
Australia’s Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) was undertaking a partnered security operation with elements of the Afghan National Security Forces, searching for key insurgents in a village.
Chief of Joint Operations Command, Lieutenant General Ash Power said the inquiry found that the two Afghan males were engaged in accordance with Australia’s Rules of Engagement when they failed to heed verbal instructions to stop.
“Immediately following the engagement, an Afghan boy, who was later found to be about 13 years old, was observed falling to the ground.”
Lieutenant General Power said the Defence inquiry found the boy was standing unnoticed in the thick vegetation close to the two Afghan males at the time the shots were fired.
“The Australians immediately provided first aid to the boy at the scene. He was then transported to the Role 2 Medical Facility at Tarin Kot and later to the Role 3 Medical Facility at Kandahar.”
The boy responded to treatment and was later released to the Mirawais Hospital in Kandahar City for further treatment.
Following the conclusion of the mission, Australian personnel held a shura [meeting] with village elders to discuss the incident and provide information about how the boy’s injuries occurred.
During the shura, the injured boy’s father was identified and Australian personnel took him to the Role 2 Medical Facility at Tarin Kot to be with his son.
After the boy had been discharged from hospital, Australian personnel made a payment to the boy under the Tactical Payment Scheme.
Lieutenant General Power said the Inquiry Officer’s Report found the SOTG member had acted within the relevant Rules of Engagement.
A redacted version of the inquiry report is available at http://www.defence.gov.au/coi/
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999