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Oct 30

Written by: Diana West
Sunday, October 30, 2011 9:29 AM 

An Afghan National Army soldier opened fire and murdered three and wounded seven members of an Australian military training team in southern Afghanistan.yesterday. The ANA soldier attacked his own Mentoring Task Force 3 just as they ended a regular weekly parade at a forward operating base at Shah Wali Kot in Kandahar province.

To my best knowledge, that brings the grim toll of Afghan murders of their Western allies to 42 45 in the last 23 months.

The Sydney Morning Herald pointed out that the loss of three Australians made this incident "the single deadliest attack on Australian forces during the entire Afghanistan campaign."

The Herald report continues:

Another Australian sustained life-threatening injuries and is likely to be airlifted to a military medical centre in Germany.

Another four Australians were seriously wounded while two suffered minor injuries. An Afghan interpreter was also killed.

Australian forces - including some of those who were wounded - returned fire at the gunman, killing him.

Little is yet known about the shooter but it is believed he had been in the force for some time and was not a new recruit.

The ADF has launched an investigation to determine whether the gunman, from the ANA's 6th Kandak unit, was a Taliban or terrorist infiltrator, or whether there was another motivation for the attack.

"It is critical we show restraint and reserve our judgments until the investigation is complete," General Hurley cautioned.

This is surreal, The fact is, we reserve judgment into perpetuity.

Then again, here is a reaction I haven't seen reported in other instances.

The Afghan army quickly ordered the disarming of all 200-plus local 6th Kandak personnel and confined them to their barracks.

For how long? To what end? And then what happens? The consensus-setters don't much care.

From another SMH story: "Killings won't change campaign aims"

DEFENCE observers say the killing of three Australian soldiers by an Afghan counterpart will not change the way the two forces work together.

Retired Major-General Jim Molan, who was chief of operations for the multinational force in Iraq, said several such incidents had taken place in Iraq, although none had targeted Australian troops. He said the killings would further strain trust between Afghan and Australian troops but would not lead to less engagement between the two forces.

''You can't disarm the troops you're training for war,'' he said.

Welcome to Surreal-istan.

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