UK & World News
Afghan Attack: Two UK Troops Shot Dead
Two British soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan as they tried to treat a wounded man dressed in the uniform of the Afghan police, according to Sky sources.
The soldiers, from 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, were shot dead at a checkpoint in the south of Nahr-e Saraj district in Helmand province. Their next of kin have been informed, the Ministry of Defence said.
Major Laurence Roche, of Task Force Helmand, said: "It is with deep sadness that I must report the death of two soldiers from 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment who were shot and killed by a man wearing the uniform of the Afghan Local Police at a checkpoint in the south of Nahr-e Saraj.
"The Yorkshire Regiment has suffered a deep loss today and everyone serving within Task Force Helmand will want to send our condolences to the soldiers' families and loved ones at this time."
The deaths occurred ahead of an unrelated attack on Nato troops on Sunday in which four US service members were killed.
At least one Afghan police officer turned his gun on the US troops at a remote checkpoint in southern Afghanistan.
And on Friday, a soldier from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards died after his vehicle hit a roadside bomb.
The MoD said The Yorkshire Regiment deaths were unrelated to the attack at Camp Bastion in which two US Marines were killed.
Meanwhile, it has emerged that the Taliban attack on Camp Bastion was carried out by insurgents wearing US Army uniforms.
The attack took place near an airfield on the north-east side of the base, which houses American forces in Camp Leatherneck.
An International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) spokesman in Afghanistan said: "The insurgents appeared to be well equipped, trained and rehearsed.
"Dressed in US Army uniforms and armed with automatic rifles, rocket propelled grenade launchers and suicide vests, the insurgents attacked coalition fixed and rotary wing aircraft parked on the flight line, aircraft hangars and other buildings."
The official said the six Harrier jets destroyed were US marine aircraft and that two others were significantly damaged. Six aircraft hangars were also damaged.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on Camp Bastion, saying it was carried out because Prince Harry was on the base, and also as revenge for an anti-Islamic film.
He was about a mile away with other crew members of the Apache attack helicopters, of which he is a co-pilot gunner, when the attack took place, sources said.
Defence experts said Harry, an Army captain, should not be withdrawn from his military role in Afghanistan, despite the attack.
Tory MP Colonel Bob Stewart, a former commander of British troops in Bosnia, said he did not think the Prince should be pulled out of Afghanistan because of the attack by the Taliban.
"To hell with them," he said. "Harry wants to go there and our soldiers want him there. He should stay."
But Col Stewart stressed the security considerations regarding the deploymentof the Prince were flexible.
"These things aren't set in concrete. If circumstances really change then we'll make different judgments."
He added: "Capturing, killing or hurting Prince Harry would be a huge propaganda coup for the Taliban."
Former Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox told Sky's Dermot Murnaghan that infiltration into the Afghan police by Taliban insurgents was "inevitable".
He said: "Our aim was always very clear, that we would stay in Afghanistan until the Afghan national security forces were strong enough to maintain order and defend the democratic government itself.
"When it became very clear we were not going to abandon Afghanistan early, the Taliban, al Qaeda and their allies were then next going to try and undermine confidence in the Afghan national security forces both internally and internationally.
"We have to hold our nerve through that and continue with the strategy."
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