UK & World News
Soldiers Shot Dead In Afghanistan Named
Two British soldiers shot dead by a man wearing Afghan police uniform have been named as Lieutenant Edward Drummond-Baxter and Lance Corporal Siddhanta Kunwar.
The pair were taking part in a meeting with Afghan uniformed policemen inside a checkpoint in the Nahr-e-Sraj district of Helmand province when they were killed.
Tributes have been paid to the loyalty and bravery of the men, who were both in the 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles.
Lt Drummond-Baxter, 29, who had worked in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office before undertaking his military training, was on his first tour of Afghanistan.
After attending Sandhurst, he was commissioned into the 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles in December 2010.
In a statement his parents, Helen and David, and his sister Emily, said: "He loved the Gurkhas and died among friends doing the job that he wanted to do."
They said Lt Drummond, who lived with his parents in County Durham, was "fiercely loyal" and would be missed by "friends who are mourning him today both in the UK and around the world".
Lieutenant Colonel David Robinson, Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, said: "Our battalion has lost a character, a true gentleman and an inspirational leader in Lieutenant Edward Drummond-Baxter.
"Edward or 'DB', as he was often known, was one of life's true personalities. His Gurkha soldiers noticeably responded to his dedication to them but also to his great wit and humour. They would follow him anywhere."
L/Cpl Kunwar, 28, lived in Nepal with his mother and father and leaves four sisters and a brother.
In a family statement they said: "We are deeply shocked, disheartened and in disbelief that Siddhanta is no longer with us but we shall treasure all the good things he did."
They said: "He has made us proud."
L/Cpl Kunwar was on his third tour of Afghanistan. Lt Col Robinson said he was a "role model" for younger soldiers.
He said: "He would have done anything to support his comrades and friends around him; I know they will miss him deeply.
"The Regiment has lost a fine young man who epitomised all that makes the Gurkhas so special."
The "green-on-blue" attack in which the men were killed brings the number of British servicemen killed by Afghan soldiers or police to 11 this year, compared to just one in 2011, three in 2010, and five in 2009.
At least 53 international troops have died as a result of "insider attacks" - where Afghans turn their weapons on their coalition colleagues.
Their deaths take the total number of UK service members to have lost their lives since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001 to 437.