Afghan civilian hit on Australian firing range

An Afghan civilian teenager has died from injuries received at a heavy weapons range in Oruzgan province, it is believed.

Defence believes the youth died of injuries received at the Tarin Kot Multinational Base heavy weapons range.

Initial reports indicate civilians were identified inside the range area after heavy weapons firing had begun on the afternoon of November 1 local time, Defence said in a statement on Friday.

Australian personnel ceased firing immediately when they realised civilians were on the range.

Chief of Joint Operations Lieutenant General Ash Power said the soldiers conducting the firing believe the Afghan was most likely injured during their practice, but a full investigation would be conducted.

"As soon as the soldiers realised the Afghan civilians were in danger they ceased fire and directed Afghan security personnel to move forward and assist," Lieutenant General Power said.

"The injured Afghan was taken to the civilian hospital in Tarin Kot for treatment and we were later advised that he had unfortunately died of his injuries."

The deceased is believed to be a teenager, but his exact age is not known.

"Procedures are in place to minimise the risk of local Afghans entering onto the range," Defence said.

"Oruzgan authorities have been informed and the incident is currently being investigated in co-operation with local authorities.

"This incident did not occur during the conduct of operations."

 

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