Last week three Australian soldiers, Lance Corporal Stjepan 'Rick' Milosevic, Sapper James Martin and Private Robert Poate were murdered by an Afghan sergeant in a so-called green on blue incident at a patrol base in Oruzgan province. While no motive has been suggested, the troops were having a friendly game of poker when the attack occurred. Gambling is banned under Islam:
The troops were relaxing before bed with a friendly game of poker at two tables when Afghan sergeant Hekmatullah entered the tent brandishing an AK-47 assault rifle. Six Diggers were seated at one table and five at the second.While it is not clear that the card game was what motivated the attack, there seems to be little in the way of other reasonable motivations for it. The Taliban are a particularly extreme element of Islam and have no compunction about killing to set an example. It is only a couple of weeks ago that seventeen partygoers were murdered by beheading for violating the code.
Hekmatullah opened fire, killing his first victim instantly. Two soldiers at the second table stood up and went for their weapons and were instantly shot dead. Three other men were wounded, including one seriously, from other shots fired before Hekmatullah fled the tent and escaped over the Hesco defence barrier of Patrol Base Wahab, about 20km north of Tarin Kowt.
It is not clear why the "guardian angel'' assigned to stand guard over the men did not respond to the attack. Despite an intense hunt, Hekmatullah has not been caught and Australian defence officials believe he has already escaped from the province.
It is hard enough on our troops fighting to keep the Taliban at bay while training unreliable local troops who are likely to turn on them at the drop of a hat. It is outrageous that they cannot enjoy traditional Western pursuits in their off duty hours without being murdered by these maniacs.