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The Australian soldier killed in Afghanistan yesterday has been named as Michael Fussell, a 25-year-old Commando.

Lieutenant Fussell, from the Sydney-based 4th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment,
was killed in the southern province of Oruzgan during a night-time offensive operation on Thursday morning.

Killed ... Michael  Fussell.  

Our thoughts and prayers are with Michael's family
from the family that is 4RAR.....ed

Ben Packham (Melb HeraldSun)

November 29, 2008 12:00am


AN Australian commando killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan has been identified as Lt Michael Fussell.

Tributes flowed for the 25-year-old soldier from Sydney, killed while on a patrol hunting Taliban insurgents in Oruzgan province.

A member of the 4th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, Lt Fussell was not married and had no children.

Two other soldiers wounded in the blast were not identified and were back on operational duty yesterday.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said Lt Fussell had shown great courage serving his country. "I'd simply say . . . how saddened I am, and the Government is, at the loss of this brave young man who has given his all, proudly wearing the uniform of Australia, and our deepest condolences go to his family," Mr Rudd said.

"This is a bad day for the Australian army; a bad day for our men and women in uniform in Tarin Kowt and elsewhere in Afghanistan; and it is a tragic day for this young man's family."

Lt Fussell's grief-stricken family were being supported by the army yesterday. They included his brother Daniel, a lieutenant with the Brisbane-based 1st Field Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery.

Lt Fussell was born in Coffs Harbour, NSW. He enlisted in the army in 2002 and graduated from the Royal Military College Duntroon.

He completed a Bachelor of Arts at the Australian Defence Force Academy and was a keen sportsman who loved playing rugby.

Vice-chief of the Australian Defence Force, Lt-Gen David Hurley, said Lt Fussell's death was a tragic loss.

"Today our nation mourns the loss of a fine soldier," Lt-Gen Hurley said.

Lt Fussell and his two wounded comrades were part of a foot patrol when an improvised explosive device exploded. They belonged to a special operations task group protecting a reconstruction taskforce in Oruzgan.

Mr Rudd said Lt Fussell's death did not alter the PM's resolve on the war in Afghanistan, but he said Australia had no plans to offer further troops to the war effort.

"I've said before to our friends in the United States we believe our current commitments to Afghanistan are about right," he told radio 3AW. "We went to Afghanistan after the terrorist attacks on September 11 . . . We cannot surrender that country back again to al-Qaida."

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