5 Australians Killed in Afghanistan

Marty Melville, AFP / Getty Images

Five Australian soldiers were killed in Afghanistan Wednesday, the deadliest day for that country’s troops since the Vietnam War. The soldiers were killed by an Afghan wearing a soldier’s uniform—bringing the number NATO-led coalition troops killed this year in so-called friendly shootings up to 45. Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Thursday she would return home early from a regional Pacific leaders’ conference for briefings on the deaths. “This is news so truly shocking that it’s going to feel for many Australians like a physical blow,” an emotional Gillard said. Gillard said there would not be an early exit from Afghanistan, despite that overwhelming support from Australians.