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Three soldiers killed in Afghanistan were British: ministry

July 02, 2012


Afghan policemen stand guard at a checkpoint in Kabul on May 7, 2012. — Photo by AFP

LONDON: The three Nato soldiers shot dead Sunday in Afghanistan by a man wearing an Afghan police uniform were British, the Ministry of Defence said Monday.

The MoD said the soldiers came under gunfire at a checkpoint in Nahr-e-Saraj, Helmand province, in the southwest of the country, where they were meeting local elders.

“On leaving, they were engaged by small arms fire by a man wearing an Afghan Police uniform,” a statement from Britain's defence ministry said. “During this exchange of fire the three soldiers were wounded and despite receiving first aid at the scene, they died of their injuries.”

The MoD said the soldiers, who were serving with an Afghan police advisory team, had gone to the Kamparack Pul checkpoint for a “shura” — a meeting with Afghan elders.

“It is with deep regret that I must inform you that three soldiers, two serving with 1st Battalion Welsh Guards and one serving with the Royal Corps of Signals, have been killed in an incident at Check Point Kamparack Pul in the Nahr-e-Saraj district of Helmand Province,” said Major Ian Lawrence, a spokesman for Task Force Helmand.

The soldiers' families have been informed.

The deaths take the toll this year in “green-on-blue” killings — in which Afghan forces turn their weapons against their Western allies — to at least 26, in a total of 18 such incidents.

Nato''s International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) said the gunman was wounded and detained after the attack, which happened around 5:00 pm (1230 GMT). It is not yet clear whether the attacker was a police officer or not.