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    Afghan soldier suspected of killing Australian shot dead

    KHOST CITY (PAN): An Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier suspected of killing an Australian corporal three weeks ago in central Uruzgan province, has been shot dead in southeastern Khost province, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement on Monday.

    The soldier, Shafiullah, had been on the run since May 30, when he allegedly shot 25-year-old Lance Corporal Andrew Jones four times at a patrol base in the Chora Valley.

    He was killed late on Sunday night in Thanai district of Khost, according to ISAF’s statement.

    Afghan and US forces had tried to capture Shafiullah alive, but shot him dead when he attempted to pull his gun on them, the statement said.

    Those same forces also detained several individuals believed to have assisted in Shafiullah’s escape. A search of the area turned up multiple grenades as well as AK-47 rifles and magazines, which the soldiers confiscated.

    The district chief, Syed Ahmad Wafa, said the forces had also detained family members of the deceased.

    Australian Defense Minister Stephen Smith confirmed the death on Monday and said the Afghan National Army soldier no longer posed a risk to Afghanistan.

    Smith told reporters that Shafiullah had been pursued since fleeing the base, and that Australians had been involved in the operation, which took place in the Afghan soldier's home province of Khost overnight.

    Australia has some 1,550 troops in Afghanistan, many of them working to train Afghan National Army soldiers working in southern Afghanistan. So far 27 Australian soldiers have died during the conflict.

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