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Defence condemns child suicide attack in Chora

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Defence condemns child suicide attack in Chora

A child suicide bomber is believed to be responsible for an attack that wounded an AusAID civilian Development Advisor, three International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) soldiers and an innocent Afghan child in the Chora District of Uruzgan.

The attack occurred as members of a Provincial Reconstruction Team - Uruzgan patrol were returning to a nearby patrol base following a successful Shura with local community leaders on 26 March.

Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Ash Power, said exploiting a child to act as a suicide bomber was deplorable.

“Our focus is on ensuring the children of Afghanistan have a future - the Taliban is intent on taking that future from them through these callous acts,” Lieutenant General Power said.

“The deliberate use of children as suicide attackers in Afghanistan contravenes every law and has been universally condemned by ISAF, the Afghan Government, the United Nations and independent human rights groups yet the Taliban continue to act with little regard to rights of children and civilians.”

The suicide attack in Chora follows the recent detention of two would-be child suicide attackers in the Mirabad district by Afghan National Police.

Australian Defence Force (ADF) elements located at a nearby patrol base deployed to the scene immediately after the blast and secured the site.

No ADF personnel were wounded in this incident.

Taliban claims that up to 18 ISAF personnel were killed in the blast are false.

Lieutenant General Power said the thoughts of the ADF were with the AusAID Development Advisor and his family as well as the ISAF soldiers and the Afghan child wounded in the attack.

“AusAID people, like all of those from the Australian Civilian Corps who are part of our operations, are critical to the wider mission in Afghanistan.

"The Australian Defence Force will assist the Department of Foreign Affairs in transporting the injured AusAID worker to Australia."

Media contact: Defence Media Operations 02 6127 1999