The West

Gun mystery in death of commando

The Australian commando that died this week in Afghanistan has been named as Lance-Cpl Todd Chidgey, from Gosford in NSW.

The Defence Department said Lance-Cpl Chidgey died from a gunshot wound in Afghanistan in a "non-combat" related death.

The elite soldier was found in an administration building in Kabul by colleagues on Monday.

He was in the Afghan capital working as part of the security team for a senior Australian officer.

The 29-year-old joined the Australian Army in 2006 under a special scheme allowing civilians to be directly recruited into the special forces. He had been deployed on six tours of Afghanistan.

Lance-Cpl Chidgey is survived by his mother, father, brothers and partner.

The Defence Department refused to comment on suggestions yesterday no gun had been found with the soldier's body. There were reports the weapon that fired the fatal shot may have been misplaced as the soldier's mates rushed him to hospital.

In 2006, Pte Jake Kovco died after being shot in the head with his own pistol in the Australian Embassy barracks in Baghdad. A Defence inquiry concluded the gun went off while Pte Kovco was "skylarking" with his pistol.

Lance-Cpl Chidgey is the 41st Digger to die in Afghanistan but is the first death in the theatre in more than a year.

Australia pulled most of its forces out of Afghanistan last year but about 400 soldiers stayed on - many of them special forces - to train Afghan forces.

The West Australian

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