13 May 2012

Two British servicemen killed in Afghanistan

Afghan police shoot dead two British servicemen and gunmen kill a peace negotiator in separate attacks that undermine the country’s attempt to negotiate a peace deal with Taliban insurgents.


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Two British servicemen and an Afghan peace negotiator have been killed in Afghanistan (Image: Reuters)

414 British deaths

The incident appears to be the latest in a string of “green on blue” attacks in which members of the Afghan security forces have opened fire on international allies.

In March, Sergeant Luke Taylor, of the Royal Marines, and Lance Corporal Michael Foley, of the Adjutant General’s Corps (Staff and Personnel Support) were shot dead by an Afghan soldier at the entrance to the UK headquarters in Helmand province.

Such attacks have become increasingly common in recent months, particularly since the burning of copies of the Koran at a US base in February.

Five British soldiers were killed by a rogue Afghan policeman in November 2009. The gunman opened fire on the men in a military compound in Nad e-Ali before fleeing. The Taliban later claimed responsibility.

Some 414 members of UK forces have died since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001.

Afghan control

Afghanistan’s President Karzai today announced that the country’s own forces will take lead responsibility for security in a further 122 areas across the country, including Nahr-e-Saraj district in Helmand Province where British forces operate.

The announcement means that Afghan forces will soon have lead security responsibility in areas home to 75 percent of Afghanistan’s population. By the middle of 2013 all of Afghanistan will have begun the transition process, which is on track to complete by the end of 2014 when Britain’s combat mission will end.