Australian soldier and Afghan interpreter killed

An Australian soldier and an Afghan interpreter have been shot dead by insurgents in Afghanistan, bringing Australia's death toll from the conflict to 23.

Australia's defense chief, Air Marshall Angus Houston, told reporters Sunday that 21-year-old Sapper Jamie Ronald Larcombe and the interpreter, whose name has not been released, were killed while on patrol in the Mirabad Valley in Uruzgan province Saturday night.

Australia has 1,550 troops in Afghanistan, the largest force provided by any country outside NATO and the 10th largest overall.