The sad news of the death of five British Soldiers yesterday means that 2009 has been the worst year for the Armed Forces since the Falkland war.
Channel 4 News had this to say :
An Afghan policeman shoots dead five British soldiers at a checkpoint in southern Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence confirm. The soldiers, from the Grenadier Guards and the Royal Military Police, had been mentoring Afghan National Police.
In a statement the MoD said that three soldiers from the Grenadier Guards and two from the Royal Military Police were killed when an Afghan policeman opened fire at a checkpoint in Afghanistan’s Nad-e’Ali District yesterday. Three Afghans also died in the shooting.
The soldiers had been living with the Afghan National Police while mentoring them at the checkpoint. Lt Col David Wakefield, spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said that the “rogue” individual who carried out the attack was from the Afghan security forces. It is reported that the killer has since escaped.
“An Afghan national policeman from the checkpoint started firing without warning before anyone could really respond,” the defence spokesman said.
“Every effort is being put into hunting him down.”
Several other wounded men were flown to the British headquarters at Camp Bastion along with the casualties.
The families of the soldiers have been informed.
The deaths bring the total toll of British soldiers killed in Afghanistan to 229. Britain’s Armed Forces have suffered the bloodiest year of action since the Falklands War.
My thoughts are with the Family, friends and colleagues of these five brave men and also with those of the wounded.