24 May 2011

Australian soldier killed, 5 wounded in Afghanistan

3:58 pm on 24 May 2011

An Australian soldier is dead and five others have been wounded in two separate incidents in Afghanistan.

Sergeant Brett Wood, 32, of Victoria was killed by a roadside bomb on Monday.

One of his fellow diggers suffered life-threatening wounds and another has serious injuries from the same blast, AAP reports.

Just hours earlier, another three Australian soldiers were hurt in an unrelated gun fight with local insurgents and are expected to be discharged from hospital on Tuesday.

Sergeant Wood was part of the Special Operations Task Group and is the 24th Australian soldier to be killed in Afghanistan.

A total of 174 Australian soldiers have been wounded in action.

Defence Force chief Angus Houston described Sergeant Wood as a "magnificent" soldier who was on his third deployment to Afghanistan, having previously served in Iraq, East Timor and Bougainville. He began his latest deployment in March.

Sergeant Wood was popular and well respected among his peers. He was awarded the Medal for Gallantry in 2006 after leading a commando team in extremely dangerous circumstances in Afghanistan's Chora Valley.

In 2007, he was recognised for his performance as the emergency action commander in a tactical assault group.