Slaying of soldiers 'premeditated'

Last updated 14:39 23/11/2012

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Comrades of an Afghan soldier who shot and killed three Australian diggers in October in an insider attack appear to have known in advance of their colleague's intentions but did not pass the information on.

The Australian Defence Force today released the report into the so-called ''green on blue'' attack on October 29 at the Sorkh Bed patrol base, finding that the shooter had targetted Australian soldiers.

The shooter, Sergeant Darwish Khan, shot and killed Captain Bryce Duffy, 26, Corporal Ashley Birt, 22, and Lance Corporal Luke Gavin, 29. An Afghan interpreter was also killed and seven Australian soldiers were wounded.

''There is evidence to suggest other individuals ... were aware of his intent prior to the incident,'' the report states.

But there was no evidence that Darwish was connected with the Taliban insurgency, the report added.

Vice chief of the ADF, Air Marshal Mark Binskin, told reporters in Canberra Darwish had seized an opportunity to target ADF members but there was no evidence he was connected to the Afghan insurgency.

''However, the inquiry officer identified some evidence that other ANA members were aware of Darwish's intent before the shooting,'' he said.

''There's since been a further and very thorough examination of this incident, including all available intelligence.

''This examination has found that there is no evidence that anyone actively supported Darwish.''

But Air Marshal Binskin said Darwish's motivation for the attack may never be known.

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