[The Australian] THE Government and Opposition yesterday combined to defend the actions of special forces soldiers in Afghanistan after embarrassing admissions by the army that dog pens were used to hold Taliban detainees.
Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon said yesterday the Diggers were not to blame for the situation that has infuriated Australian Muslim groups, who regard it as an insult to their religion, which classifies dogs as dirty animals.
Speaking on ABC radio, Mr Fitzgibbon said the troops had no option but to use the dog pens before relocating their prisoners to the main base at Tarin Kowt.
He accepted that cultural sensitivities had been offended but there would be no apology.
“We are at war in Afghanistan with people who will employ any tactic, including the use of children as shields and as a means of propaganda, and it is a tough battle,” he said. “But we always endeavour to comply on all occasions with international law and I am confident that our people have done so.”