UK & World News
Medic And Marine Killed In Afghanistan Named
A Royal Marine and Army medic killed in Helmand province, Afghanistan, have been named as Corporal David O'Connor and Corporal Channing Day.
Cpl O'Connor, 27, from 40 Commando and Cpl Day, 25, from 3 Medical Regiment were attacked while they were on patrol to conduct low level training with the Afghan Local Police.
They "came under small arms fire" in the Nahr-e Saraj district.
An Afghan man who is believed to be a member of the Afghan Uniformed Police but who was not wearing uniform at the time also died in the incident, said the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
Ms Day from Comber, Co Down, was "bubbly, sporty, beautiful and lived her life for the Army", her family said.
They added: "She will be remembered by all who knew her as a wonderful girl who never stopped smiling and who had an infectious laugh.
"Channing played football for Northern Ireland as well as ice hockey and also gained her qualification as a ski instructor through the Army.
"She was a fabulous daughter, sister, granddaughter, cousin, niece and friend. She will be so sadly missed by all."
Her former teacher, Strangford College acting principal Paul Maxwell, said: "She always said she wanted to join the army, she was pretty much focused on wanting to join the army."
Mr O'Connor was described as a "devoted" and "professional individual" having served four operational tours of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Lieutenant Colonel Matt Jackson, Commanding Officer, 40 Commando Royal Marines said: "He was loved and respected by those around him and was relentless in the pursuit of excellence in his duties.
"Brave, committed and humorous it is difficult to find words that can possibly fill the void which has been left by this truly excellent junior commander."
A MoD spokesman said: "Corporal O'Connor and Corporal Day were participating in a patrol with C Company, 40 Commando to conduct low level training with the Afghan Local Police.
"While en route to conduct that training, the patrol came under small arms fire near the village of Char Kutsa. As a result of the engagement Corporal O'Connor was fatally injured alongside his colleague and patrol medic, Corporal Day."
Sky's Niall Paterson said it was unclear as to what happened with various explanations emerging from Afghanistan.
The Taliban have claimed responsibility, saying the Afghan involved was one of their men. The provincial police have suggested it was a case of mistaken identity.
However sources close to the investigation told Sky this was a "green on blue" insider incident and that a member of the Afghan security force approached the British patrol from the rear and opened fire, killing two and injuring one.
The remaining patrol then returned fire, killing the Afghan.
"Green on blue" is where Coalition forces are attacked by supposed Afghan security personnel.
The latest deaths take the total number of UK service members to have died since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001 to 435.
Mr Maxwell said Ms Day was always physically fit and achieved top grades in PE, excelling at gymnastics, trampolining and netball.
"It was not just that she was good but that she always showed commitment, she stayed after school and did all the practice," he added.
Ms Day left school at 16 and Mr Maxwell said he believed she went straight into the Army.
The acting principal added: "Every pupil is dear to us and I can remember Channing as if it was yesterday, somebody we remember as being young, and still so young, is suddenly killed in such a tragic way."
Meanwhile US forces in Afghanistan confirmed that two American soldiers were killed by a man in an Afghan police uniform - the latest in a series of insider attacks that have seriously undermined trust between the allies.