An Australian soldier was shot in the leg during a battle with insurgents in southern Afghanistan, the Defence Force says.

The soldier was on patrol with Afghan and Australian colleagues in the Baluchi Valley region of the country’s southern Uruzgan province yesterday.

A statement from the ADF said the patrol was attacked by insurgents using a rocket propelled grenade and small arms.

He was the only soldier injured in the attack and gave himself first aid before other soldiers could get to him, the statement said.

The wound is considered serious. The soldier was evacuated to TarinKowt for treatment.

He is the 52nd soldier wounded this year in Afghanistan and the 152nd since Operation Slipper began in 2001.

Twenty-one Australians have died during the operation.