Afghanistan: British soldier shot dead in "insider attack by rogue member of Afghan army" in Helmand


British soldier shot dead in 'insider attack by rogue member of Afghan army'Dead man was from the 28 Engineer Regiment and shot in Helmand Six other Britons also wounded in the incident yesterday
439 UK service people killed in country since 2001Last six deaths have all been in 'green on blue' attacks
54 international troops have been murdered by Afghan police or army

By
Martin Robinson

PUBLISHED:

07:18 GMT, 8 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:54 GMT, 8 January 2013

Killing: The British soldier was shot dead at the small Patrol Base Hazrat in Helmand yesterday

Killing: The British soldier was shot dead by a suspected Afghan army member at the small Patrol Base Hazrat (pictured) in Helmand yesterday

A British soldier has been killed in yet another 'insider attack' in the war-torn country.

The killer, a suspected rogue member of the Afghan National Army, first opened fire on his colleagues, before turning his weapon on UK soldiers in the small Patrol Base Hazrat in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand Province yesterday.

Return fire then killed the gunman at the scene, the Ministry of Defence said.

An MoD official in Kabul, who asked to remain anonymous, said six British soldiers were also wounded in the incident.

These so-called 'green-on-blue' attacks
have caused the deaths of all six British soldiers who have died during
the current tour, Herrick 17.

Green stands for Afghan forces and blue for members of the Nato coalition.

At
least 54 international troops have died as a result of such attacks,
where Afghans turn their weapons on their coalition colleagues.

Major Laurence Roche, spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said: 'It is my painful duty to report the death of a soldier from 28 Engineer Regiment, who was shot and killed by a suspected member of the Afghan National Army at a patrol base in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand Province.

'This is an extremely sad day for the Corps of Royal Engineers and everyone serving with Task Force Helmand. Our thoughts are with the soldier's family and friends at this time.'

The family of the male soldier, who was attached to 21 Engineer Regiment, have been informed and have requested a 24-hour period of grace before further details are released.

Death: A British soldier was killed in an 'insider attack' in Helmand yesterday

Death: A British soldier was killed in an 'insider attack' in Helmand yesterday (file picture)

Training: The Afghan National Army (pictured) are to take over security when troops leave the country but this is yet another green on blue attack

Training: The Afghan National Army (pictured) are to take over security when troops leave the country but this is yet another green on blue attack

Since its details were revealed this morning it is understood the Taliban have claimed responsibility.

The attack takes the number of UK
service members who have lost their lives since operations in
Afghanistan began in October 2001 to 439.

Nato command spokesman Brigadier General Gunter Katz told a news conference in Kabul:

'Yesterday, a suspected member of the Afghan National Army shot and killed a British (Nato) soldier.'

He said during the incident, which is under investigation, the shooter fired at both Afghan and British troops.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, identifying the shooter as Mohammad Qasim Faroq.

Spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi said in an email that 'an infiltrator' staged the attack and managed to escape from the scene but was then shot and killed after opening fire on a checkpoint.

The Taliban have used the term in the past to refer to members who have enlisted in the military to conduct such an attack.

According to Nato, insider attacks killed 61 people in 45 incidents last year, compared to 35 killed in 21 attacks a year earlier.

The tally does not include the December 24 killing of an American civilian adviser by a female member of the Afghan police because an investigation is continuing.