Another Australian soldier has been killed in action in Afghanistan.
The head of Australia's Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, said the 28-year-old Lance Corporal was killed in an intense firefight with the Taliban in Uruzgan province.
Jared MacKinney was on his fourth operational deployment and leaves behind a three-year-old daughter and a wife expecting another child.
Defence Minister John Faulkner says the soldier is the fourth member of Brisbane-based 6th RAR battalion to have died in a matter of weeks; two were killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan last week.
Mr Faulkner said he thought Australia's work in Afghanistan was still vital, despite the rising death toll.
The ABC says 21 Australian soldiers have now died in Afghanistan since 2001.