Ten thousand wanted posters have been distributed across the suspected escape route of Afghan National Army sergeant Hekmatullah, who fled after he gunned down three Australian colleagues at a patrol base in Oruzgan Province.
Coalition forces are offering a reward of $US5000 ($A4,870) for information leading to his capture.
Shot at close range as they relaxed were Lance Corporal Stjepan Milosevic, 40, Private Robert Poate, 23, and Sapper James Thomas Martin, 21.
Two more Australians were wounded.
Four hours later two Australian special services soldiers died in a helicopter crash in neighbouring Helmand Province.
The five deaths made it the single worst day for the Australian army since the Vietnam War
The wanted leaflets show a baby-faced young man in a blue T-shirt with a whisper of a moustache, his expression giving no hint of the malice that would spark his deadly attack on the Australian soldiers.
Sergeant Hekmatullah turned his gun on his colleagues last Wednesday night at the Wahab joint patrol base in Oruzgan’s Mirabad Valley, about 50km north of the main Tarin Kowt military base, where the bulk of Australia’s 1550 strong force is based.
Australia’s search for the gunman has sparked nationwide controversy, with Afghan President Hamid Karzai accusing Australian troops of conducting an unauthorised, “unilateral” night raid on a village near Tarin Kowt.
Two men were killed in the raid, and 12 people were arrested, including a young married woman and her husband.
Eleven of the 12 have since been released but the International Security Assistance Force says the 12th man, believed to be the woman’s husband Nizamuddin, is still in custody on suspicion of having aided Hekmatullah’s escape and planting IEDs (improvised explosive devices) around the region.
Defence Minister Stephen Smith said Mr Karzai was wrong and that the Australian troops had authority to carry out the night raid, and did so in partnership with an Afghan Provincial Response team.
Australia also says the two men killed, in their mid 50s and early 30s, were known insurgents.
President Karzai continues to insist that the raid was illegal, based on the advice he has received from numerous senior security commanders, and that the two men killed were a 70 year-old village imam and his 30-year-old son.
He is now demanding proof that Australian troops sought authority for the night raid and has hinted he will take further action if they cannot produce it.
While the ISAF is hoping the wide distribution of the wanted poster will reap information leading to the gunman’s capture, locals say they doubt it will attract informants.
“Five thousand dollars is not much money,” one local journalist told The Australian.
“You would have to provide $40,000 or $50,000 because it puts people at too much risk. They will not provide information about their own for so little money.”