3 Sep 2012

Australian general defends Afghan operation

10:15 pm on 3 September 2012

The chief of the Australian Defence Force has rejected claims by Afghan president Hamid Karzai that an Australian military operation in which two civilians were killed was not authorised.

Two Afghans were killed during a raid to find the suspected killer of three Australian soldiers.

The action has drawn condemnation from Mr Karzai, who says it was done without approval and is calling for an inquiry, the ABC reports.

But General David Hurley says it was a joint operation with Afghan forces.

"We've been quite clear this was a partnered and approved operation at the provincial level. We followed all the normal processes to conduct the operation.

"We applied all our normal rules of engagement and that's the information that we've provided back to the Afghan authorities and I think they need to do some untangling of their own reporting lines here."

The Afghan soldier who killed the Australians on 29 August remains at large, but NATO has announced it captured a man on Saturday who was involved in helping the killer escape.

In a statement posted online, the International Security Assistance Force said the captured man was previously involved in kidnapping, murder and attacks on Afghan National Security Forces.