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Australian troops to stay in Afghanistan: Gillard

Australian troops to stay in Afghanistan: Gillard

Sep 01, 2012 - 11:01

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has renewed her country’s commitment to staying in Afghanistaninfo-icon despite calls for an early pullout after the death of five soldiers.

Three Australian soldiers were killed by a man wearing Afghan army’s uniform on a patrol base in central Uruzgan province on Thursday and another two were killed in a helicopter crash in the south on Friday

Gillard said Australia was in "a state of shock" but an early withdrawal would create a security vacuum across Afghanistan.

"I really feel that Australians were yesterday and today not only in a state of shock and sadness and grief ... but they are wanting to clearly understand why we are still there and what we are doing that matters so much for our nation," Gillard said.

"After all that we have lost and all that we have been through in Afghanistan, I cannot countenance leaving before the mission is completed,” she said.


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