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Inquest: British soldiers shot by Afghan with a grievance

Two British servicemen were shot dead by a rogue Afghan soldier with a personal grievance, their inquest heard today.

Sergeant Luke Taylor, 33, of the Royal Marines, and Lance Corporal Michael Foley, 25, of the Adjutant General's Corps, were killed in Lashkar Gah in March 2012.

Deputy coroner Alison Thompson said the opening of a gate at their operating base provided an opportunity for the Afghan soldier to enter and open fire with a machine gun.

It is not for me to make criticism of the soldiers and the way they operated, or attack individuals in relation to their responsibility for this tragic event.

The ANA soldier was believed to be acting on his own with a personal grievance rather than with insurgents ... this was a shocking, appalling, unexpected thing to happen.

– Deputy coroner Alison Thompson

Inquest of soldier who was 'proud to serve'

In March the family of Lance Corporal Foley paid the following tribute:

"Michael passed away while on operational duty in Afghanistan where he was very proud to be serving his country in support of our combined forces in this theatre of operations.

"He will be sorely missed by his family and friends and everyone privileged to serve with him both on his last tour and during his military career."

Lance Corporal Foley Credit: MoD


Inquest of soldier with 'infectious charisma'

Sergeant Luke Taylor, 33, of the Royal Marines, and Lance Corporal Michael Foley, 25, of the Adjutant General's Corps, were killed at the entrance to the UK headquarters in Helmand Province in March this year.

Sergeant Luke Taylor Credit: MoD

Shortly after his death a colleague of Sergeant Luke Taylor said:

"Luke was the kind of guy you wanted next to you - regardless of the situation, he was a cool head and a source of endless banter. I never saw him fazed; he just seemed to "crack on" and many a time dragged those around with him!

"He had one of those infectious charismas, always able to talk himself out of a situation. For me, like so many, Luke was simply an inspiration. Completely dedicated and loyal to his family, you could just feel the warmth when he spoke of them."

Two British soldiers shot dead in Lashkar Gah

Two British soldiers were shot dead at the British HQ in Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan Credit: ITV News

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond told the House of Commons that details of the incident, which occurred at the British HQ in Lashkar Gah in Helmand province, were still emerging and next of kin were being informed.

He said: "Our thoughts, as ever, are with their families, for whom this will be a deeply personal tragedy.

"Details of the incident are still emerging but it appears that a member of the Afghan National Army opened fire at the entrance gate to the British headquarters in Lashkar Gah city, killing the two British service personnel.

"The assailant was killed by return fire."