Bomb strike soldier rushed to intensive care
TWO special forces soldiers have been wounded – including one who suffered serious wounds to his legs – after their vehicle hit a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.
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The Defence Force said comrades of the seriously wounded soldier had saved his life in the field and that he had been evacuated by helicopter to a base hospital. He was later flown to a hospital in Germany, where he remained in intensive care.
“This brave soldier received very serious wounds to his lower limbs,” said the Chief of Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston.
“The immediate first aid that his mates applied, and the surgery he received at the coalition hospital saved his life. He remains seriously ill and in intensive care, but is responding to treatment. We will wait to hear from doctors in Germany to provide an update.”
A Defence Force spokeswoman would not say last night whether the soldier required amputation.
The other soldier suffered minor wounds and was evacuated to Tarin Kowt, where the bulk of Australia’s 1100-strong force is based.
The incident comes as Australia considers increasing its commitment to the war in the wake of a strategy review by the US and increases by several European nations. The Minister for Defence, Joel Fitzgibbon, and the Foreign Minister, Stephen Smith, will meet their counterparts in Washington this week and have said they would not be surprised if the US asked Australia to send more troops.
Ten Australians have been killed in the war, nine of them in the past two years. The Government has indicated it is likely to send support for the Afghan elections later this year and may also consider sending further troops.
Defence sources did not identify the wounded soldiers, but said the families had been notified.