UK & World News
UK Marine And Soldier Killed On Afghan Patrol
A Royal Marine Commando and a female soldier from 3 Medical Regiment have been killed in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
They had been on patrol in the Nahr e Saraj district when they became involved in an "exchange of gunfire" involving "a man who is believed to be a member of the Afghan Uniformed Police".
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "During a UK foot patrol in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand Province, there was an exchange of gunfire that resulted in the deaths of a Royal Marine from 40 Commando Royal Marines, a female soldier from 3 Medical Regiment and an Afghan man who is believed to be a member of the Afghan Uniformed Police but who was not wearing uniform at the time.
"The UK patrol were not working with any Afghan partners at the time. At this stage we do not know what initiated the exchange of gunfire and an investigation is ongoing."
Major Laurence Roche, the spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said: "This is dreadful news for all of us serving in Afghanistan. Our sincere condolences go to their families, friends and colleagues at this time of grief."
It is understood that the soldier from 3 Medical Regiment is from Northern Ireland. Next of kin have been informed.
The DUP's Jeffrey Donaldson said: "Very often these medics put themselves in the fire to save the lives of others.
"It is particularly tragic that this young woman should lose her life in these circumstances."
It is understood the Taliban has issued a statement in Afghanistan suggesting the incident was a "green on blue attack" - carried out by insurgents in Afghan uniforms, but the details are still unclear.
Both appeared to have been killed by gunshot wounds, according to reports, but the details have not yet been confirmed.
An Afghan man who also died is believed to be a member of the Afghan Uniformed Police, but was not wearing uniform at the time.
Their deaths take the total number of UK service members to have died since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001 to 435.