//
you're reading...
Australian Current Affairs

Australian soldiers said to have cut off dead Afghan’s hands


General David Hurley

General David Hurley

Australian elite special forces soldiers are being investigated over claims they cut the hands off at least one Afghan insurgent’s body to identify him by his fingerprints.

A ”potential misconduct” investigation against members of the Special Operations Task Group centres on claims that soldiers amputated the hands and took them back to their base to use for fingerprint identification, it is understood.

The Chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley, issued a statement on Friday saying the military was continuing to investigate ”an incident of potential misconduct” in Afghanistan after the amputation claim was reported yesterday by several media outlets.

The claims stem from an operation on April 28 in which Australian special operations soldiers, along with Afghan special forces, killed four Taliban fighters. The operation in Zabul province targeted a Taliban leader responsible for an insurgency network in and around Oruzgan province, according to a statement released in early May by General Hurley.

That statement announced the Australian Defence Force was investigating potential misconduct, but provided no details. It said the complaint had been reported through the Australian chain of command.

Yesterday General Hurley said the April 28 operation had been ”a high-intensity, complex and dangerous battle”. He said the misconduct investigation was continuing.

Australian soldiers are obliged where possible to identify the bodies of suspected insurgents they kill. The special operations group – made up of the SAS and 2nd Commando Regiment – has access to a high-level, US-operated biometric database that includes photos, fingerprints and retinal scans of many Taliban commanders and soldiers. The investigation appears to be focusing on the claim that the soldiers cut off the hand of the Taliban commander to identify him by his fingerprints, rather than take the whole body back to their base at Tarin Kowt, about 100 kilometres to the west.

One army source said there had been a ”spike of about 700 per cent” in investigation activity in recent months at Camp Russell, the section that is home to the special operations group at Tarin Kowt. The source said ADF investigators had removed material from Camp Russell as evidence.

While mutilating a corpse is forbidden by the Geneva Convention, the alleged amputation might not be illegal if it was done out of “military necessity”, said Neil James, executive director of the Australia Defence Association.

Because they were fighting an insurgency without uniforms or identification, Australians generally needed to collect evidence that enemy fighters were Taliban soldiers, he said.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald – Soldiers alleged to have cut off dead insurgent’s hand
 

About Craig Hill

Teacher and Writer. Writing has been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and others.

Discussion

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

If you liked what you just read, click "Subscribe" to become a follower of the Craig Hill site. You will receive an email each time a new post is published.

Join 15,358 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

Most Recent Posts Post on My Blog About China: China News

United States outmanoeuvres Russia once again? 

United States outmanoeuvres Russia once again? 

In a recent briefing, the US Director of National Intelligence (DNI), Avril Haines warned, “I would characterize it as the Russians aren’t winning, and the Ukrainians aren’t winning, and we’re at a bit of a stalemate here.” So, where is the Russia-Ukraine war heading? What is Russian President Putin planning next? Is Europe ready for […]

China is defying global order to expand power, US admiral warns

China is defying global order to expand power, US admiral warns

The Chinese Communist Party and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) are destabilizing international order in an effort to expand their global power, Adm. John Aquilino, commander of the Indo-Pacific Command, warned lawmakers during a House hearing on Tuesday. In his written testimony submitted to the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, Adm. Aquilino explained that the Department […]

China – Autocracy and decoupling technical tests

China – Autocracy and decoupling technical tests

We have noticed that the embrace with China had become suffocating in the last twenty years. The West universe of consumers and China the factory of the world. We started with modest and low value-added materials and products, to refine the trajectory and revolution to the most refined and complex technologies, such as 5G and […]

Four ways China is growing its media influence in Southeast Asia

Four ways China is growing its media influence in Southeast Asia

As President Biden welcomes leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to a special summit this week in Washington, D.C., his administration is affirming Beijing as the U.S.’s main rival and underscoring the region’s importance in U.S.-China competition. The two-day event is part of the U.S effort to woo ASEAN members caught in a […]

Confronting Russia will deter China, says Japanese defense minister

Confronting Russia will deter China, says Japanese defense minister

A strong international response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine is critical to deterring China from embarking on territorial conquests in Taiwan or the South China Sea, said Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi. “China has been carefully observing the current situation of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and they are paying particularly close attention to what […]

How Russia-Ukraine copied Finland war without lessons

How Russia-Ukraine copied Finland war without lessons

Finland is a unique country with a distinct language and culture. However, its possession was always contested between Sweden and Russia. Though Finland mainly remained under Swedish control in 1809, it was annexed by Russia. Using the end of World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution in late 1917, Finland declared its independence from the […]

China plans system to take out asteroids hurtling toward earth

China plans system to take out asteroids hurtling toward earth

China plans to develop a system for monitoring asteroids that pose a threat to earth, highlighting the nation’s growing ambitions for its space program. The country will also explore ways for taking out asteroids that endanger the planet, Wu Yanhua, deputy director of the China National Space Administration, said in a TV interview, according to […]

Russia-Japan tensions flare anew over the Kurils

Russia-Japan tensions flare anew over the Kurils

Formally, Russia is not at war with Ukraine, where it claims to be conducting a so-called “special military operation.” But with Japan, given that Moscow and Tokyo never signed a peace treaty officially ending World War II, the two Asian neighbors remain technically at war. And after Japan recently described four Kuril islands whose ownership […]

Solomon Islands has Washington in state of alarm after a security pact with China

Solomon Islands has Washington in state of alarm after a security pact with  China

A tiny island chain in the South Pacific has Western governments scrambling after it agreed to a security pact with China that the United States and its allies fear could enhance Beijing’s military power in this strategically important region.  The deal between China and the Solomon Islands, a nation of 700,000 people that had deadly […]

China says its ‘future helicopters’ will be equipped with ground-breaking technologies

China says its ‘future helicopters’ will be equipped with ground-breaking technologies

Militaries all around the world are looking at integrating modern technology into their military weapons. China, as usual, appears to be making serious efforts to prepare for the future battleground, this time, with plans to include artificial intelligence and high-speed features in its future choppers. During a recent public lecture, a prominent Chinese military helicopter […]

%d bloggers like this: