Five Australian Troops Killed in Afghanistan

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Five Australian troops have been killed in two separate incidents in Afghanistan, defense officials said Thursday, in the worst day for Australian casualties since the war started.

The incidents, which included three deaths in an "insider attack" by an Afghan solider, bring to 38 the number of Australian lives lost in the war.

Australia's acting defense¬ chief Air Marshal Mark Binskin said the first incident occurred inside a patrol base near Tarin Kowt.

"Three Australian soldiers from the 3RAR task group were shot and killed when an individual wearing an Afghan National Army uniform opened fire with an automatic weapon from close range," he told reporters.

Earlier Thursday, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said the attack occurred in the restive southern Uruzgan province where about 1,500 Australian troops are deployed.

In the second incident, two Australian special forces soldiers were killed Thursday morning when their helicopter crashed in Helmand province, in one of the worst days for Australian casualties since the Vietnam War.

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