Woman in combat training
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Australia lifts ban on women in military combat roles

Australia has lifted all restrictions on the roles that women can carry out in its armed forces.

Suitably-qualified female soldiers will be able to serve in the special forces and front-line combat units.

Defence Minister Stephen Smith said the ban would be lifted immediately but may take up to five years to implement. Critics described the move as premature and a gimmick.

Duncan Kennedy reports.