7 Jun 2011

Another Australian soldier killed in Afghanistan

3:44 pm on 7 June 2011

Insurgents have fatally shot an Australian soldier during a special forces operation to destroy a munitions supply dump in Afghanistan.

He is the 27th Australian soldier to have been killed in the conflict since 2001, AAP reports.

Defence head Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston says the 23-year-old combat engineer was hit in an 80-minute firefight in Helmand province.

He was treated at the scene then evacuated by helicopter, but died of his wounds.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard says the nation's resolve is being tested with the fourth death of a soldier in Afghanistan in two weeks.

However, Ms Gillard says it will not waiver as Australia works to complete its mission in Afghanistan.

The combat engineer was born in New South Wales and was single and the fourth Australian soldier to die in Afghanistan in a little over a fortnight.

The man was on his second deployment, having served in Afghanistan in 2007.