13 Jul 2008

Soldier killed in Afghanistan farewelled

4:57 pm on 13 July 2008

The New Zealand-born Australian Special Air Service soldier Sean McCarthy has been farewelled by his comrades after being killed in action in Afghanistan last week.

At a solemn service at Australia's Tarin Kowt base in Afghanistan, the 25-year-old was described as brave and having died a soldier's death.

Signaller McCarthy died after a roadside bomb struck the vehicle in which he was travelling.

His remains are being flown to Australia aboard a Hercules aircraft.

The repatriation began as Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon denied reports Australia's efforts in Afghanistan were faltering.

Leaked NATO polling showed locals in Oruzgan province were losing faith in Western forces posted in the troubled area.

Australia has about 1,050 troops in Afghanistan.