Release of Inquiry Officer findings into 29 October 2011 civilian casualty incident
23 November 2012
Defence has finalised an Inquiry into the shooting death of an Afghan man in Tarin Kot on 29 October, 2011.
The comprehensive Inquiry Officer’s report found that Australian soldiers involved in the incident acted lawfully and in accordance with their rules of engagement and procedures.
Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Ash Power, said the man’s death was highly unfortunate and regrettable but the soldiers were forced to make a rapid decision to engage the approaching motorcyclist.
“These young soldiers, who were at a heightened awareness of a possible suicide attack, have applied every element of their training and acted lawfully under our Rules of Engagement,” Lieutenant General Power said.
“The fact that they have done everything right will be cold comfort as they know they have contributed to the death of a civilian.”
The Inquiry Officer made eight recommendations as a result of his review into the incident.
Lieutenant General Power has agreed to seven of the recommendations and provided in-principle support to the eighth, subject to further advice.
The recommendations concerning training and equipment provisioning have been incorporated into the pre-deployment training and preparedness cycle.
Two of the recommendations have been redacted from the released report as they discuss specific capabilities employed by the Australian Defence Force or sensitive relationships between the Australian Defence Force and personnel from other nations.
Personnel in Combined Team – Uruzgan and the Provincial Reconstruction Team - Uruzgan have met with the deceased man’s family since the shooting.
The family of the deceased man has received and accepted a condolence payment through the Provincial Governor from Combined Team – Uruzgan.
The ADF takes the issue of civilian casualties very seriously. ADF personnel operate under a strict set of Australian Rules of Engagement designed to minimise the risk of civilian casualties.
The outcomes of the Inquiry have been briefed to ISAF and to the Afghan authorities.
A redacted copy of the Report of an inquiry officer into the shooting death of an Afghan local national in Tarin Kot is now available at: http://www.defence.gov.au/coi/