Code 39250
PublishDate: Monday, September 13, 2010 09:54

Australian troops to encounter more violence in Afghanistan: Defense Force

Xinhua- Australian troops in Afghanistan can expect to encounter increased violence as they push deeper into Taliban sanctuaries, Australian Defense Force warned on Monday.

Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston told reporters during a briefing in Canberra on Monday that troops of the Afghan National Army 4th Brigade, accompanied by their Australian mentors, were heading deeper into the Baluchi and Chora Valleys and Deh Rawood area of Oruzgan province in Afghanistan.

"These are partnered patrols and it is dangerous work," said Houston, adding the fight was becoming more intense.

"We can expect violence levels to increase as we contest the insurgency in greater numbers and across a wider area in the south. "

Afghanistan is now in the midst of its fighting season with 10 Australian soldiers killed so far this year.

The most recent fatality was Lance Corporal Jared MacKinney who was killed while accompanying Afghan troops in the Tangi Valley near Deh Rawood.

The past few months had been tough for Australian troops, Houston said.

"But it is important that we maintain our resolve, push forward with the strategy and keep the pressure on the Taliban," he said.

He said last Tuesday that Australian troops had achieved significant success in training the Afghan security forces and pressuring insurgents

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