By Gerald Heneghan
A British soldier has been shot dead by a suspected member of the Afghan National Army (ANA).
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) today (January 8th) announced that a serviceman from 28 Engineer Regiment perished yesterday as a result of small arms fire.
Spokesman for Task Force Helmand, Major Laurence Roche, expressed his deepest sympathies with the soldier’s family and friends, describing the event as “extremely sad”.
The incident took place on Monday after the ANA suspect turned his weapon on comrades and soldiers from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Patrol Base Hazrat, in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province.
MOD representatives revealed that the serviceman’s family had been informed and had requested a 24-hour grace period before any further information is released.
The killing marks an escalation in the number of so-called insider attacks being carried out against both foreign and local troops in Afghanistan.
All six British personnel killed within the last six months have died in such incidents.
The attack comes as Afghan president Hamid Karzai arrives in the US today to undertake crucial talks about the future of the nation.
He is due to speak with president Barack Obama on Friday and the two are expected to discuss the size of the military contingent that will remain in Afghanistan in the coming years.