The Taliban are claiming responsibility for a suicide attack in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan, that injured an Australian aid worker.
Savage was on his way back to Uruzgan, accompanied by International Security Assistance Force troops, following a community meeting in Chora Valley when the incident happened. Media reports say the attack involved a lone suicide bomber who detonated an explosive-rigged motorcycle alongside a military convoy, says Australian newspaper The Age. The Taliban named the suicide bomber as Abdur Rafi, a Chora resident.
Savage was rushed to the Australian military base in Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan’s capital, before being transferred to a medical facility in Kandahar province. ABC News reports he is currently being transferred to Germany to receive treatment.
Newly appointed Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Bob Carr said the AusAID adviser is in “serious but stable” condition. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, meanwhile, said the Australian government is “working to ensure” that Savage receives the “best of medical care.” She said more details will be released when available.
The Taliban said the attack was to avenge the deaths of 17 Afghan civilians allegedly killed by a U.S. soldier in Kandahar early March. The attack also injured three ISAF soldiers and an Afghan policeman, The Age reports, citing Afghan media.
Read more development aid news online, and subscribe to The Development Newswire to receive top international development headlines from the world’s leading donors, news sources and opinion leaders — emailed to you FREE every business day.