Minister disturbed by Afghan deaths report

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds says she has been disturbed by allegations of unarmed killings

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds says she is deeply disturbed after new allegations emerged that Australian special forces soldiers killed unarmed Afghans.

ABC Four Corners has aired footage from a helmet camera showing an Australian soldier shooting dead an apparently unarmed Afghan man in a field in May 2012.

A former SAS soldier has also told the program he saw three incidents of alleged murder.

Afghan villagers provided details as well, saying an SAS squadron raided the village of Sola in Uruzgan province on August 31, 2012, days after a rogue Afghan soldier killed three Australian troops.

Villagers were allegedly blindfolded and tied up, and a local imam and his son were shot dead.

"I am deeply disturbed by what has been aired in tonight's Four Corners report," Senator Reynolds said in a statement.

The minister said she had steadfastly supported an inquiry by the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force into allegations against special forces in Afghanistan from 2005 to 2016.

The military watchdog is investigating 55 separate allegations of unlawful conduct in Afghanistan by Australian soldiers.

"Where serious allegations are raised, Australians would rightly expect they are thoroughly examined," she said.

"The Chief of the Defence Force has advised me that the IGADF will soon provide a report on the findings of the Afghanistan Inquiry."

Labor is urging the Morrison government to release the report as quickly as possible.

"We cannot continue to allow there to be a cloud around this any longer. It is important that this process and the report be as transparent and timely as possible," opposition defence spokesman Richard Marles said.

"The government must not be complacent in bringing the report to light. Whatever the outcome of the report, its timely release is the best way to protect the standing of the Australian Defence Force."