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Video shows diggers battling Taliban

Discussion in 'News & Events' started by Hails, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. Hails

    Hails Well-Known Member

    Abt time they showed some Aussie footage, click link at bottom to watch vid O0

    Posted Sun Sep 9, 2007 11:00am AEST
    Updated Sun Sep 9, 2007 11:56am AEST

    The Defence Department has released footage of Australian soldiers fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, in what it says is a move to help the public better understand the threats faced by its troops.

    The video shows a patrol from the Reconstruction Task Force (RTF) coming under attack from around 10 Taliban fighters, armed with small arms, machine guns, and rocket-propelled grenades, in Orugzan Province about a month ago.

    The Australian troops called in support from ASLAV armoured vehicles and helicopter gunships, which were not required to fire.

    The ADF says the fighting took place as Taliban fighters unsuccessfully tried to disrupt the completion of an Afghan National Police checkpoint on the outskirts of the provincial capital Tarin Kowt.

    No RTF troops were wounded in the fighting. The ADF says it does not give out details of Taliban casualties. It says there have been no reports of civilians being killed.

    "I am pleased to be able to release this footage so that the Australian public can better understand the conditions and threats faced by our troops in the Middle East," Chief of Joint Operations Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie said in a statement.

    "What the footage demonstrates is that the fighting in Oruzgan Province can be close and intense. It also highlights the difference that firepower, mobility, training, leadership and good equipment can make on occasions such as these.

    "The footage released today clearly demonstrates the professionalism of Australian troops and their ability to respond quickly and aggressively when attacked.

    "I commend the soldiers involved for their actions, which are a testament to the quality of their skills, training and equipment."

    Mission at risk

    Defence Minister Brendan Nelson also said the footage was released because it was important for Australians to realise what a difficult job the troops have.

    "It just gives all of us a flavour for what our soldiers are doing for us in fighting Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, and also of course fighting Al Qaeda and other things in Iraq," he told Channel Nine.

    "That's what they're doing for us. They're protecting our interests and our values, and serving the Afghan people. We're very proud of them."

    Dr Nelson says the Government is trying to negotiate with the Dutch Government and NATO to ensure Australia's rebuilding work in Afghanistan can continue.

    The filmed clash with the Taliban took place in an area of operations which is currently overseen by Dutch forces.

    The Dutch are considering withdrawing from Afghanistan in August next year, which Doctor Nelson says would force Australia to abandon its rebuilding program in the area.

    "As I said to Dutch parliamentarians in Kabul in Afghanistan only early last week, Australian soldiers owe their lives to the presence of Dutch Apache helicopters ... and we should do everything we can to encourage the Dutch Parliament to continue to support the deployment."

    Tags: defence-and-national-security, defence-forces, army, unrest-conflict-and-war, afghanistan, australia

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