Conflict & Justice

Two British soldiers shot dead in Afghanistan

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Afghan local policemen (ALP) walk to their positions after inspecting their targets during a training session conducted by US Marines from 1st battalion 7th Marines Regiment at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Jackson, also known as Sabit Khadam, in Sangin in Helmand Province on June 6, 2012. The US-led war in Afghanistan has cost the lives of around 3,000 U.S. and allied troops, seen thousands of Afghans killed and cost hundreds of billions of dollars.

Credit:

Adek Berry

Two British soldiers were shot dead at a checkpoint in Afghanistan by a man wearing a local police uniform.

Both soldiers were from 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, reported BBC News. They were killed in Nahr-e Saraj in Afghanistan's southern province of Helmand on Tuesday. Their families have been notified.

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"The loss of these soldiers is a huge blow to The Royal Gurkha Rifles and everyone serving in taskforce Helmand," said Major Laurence Roche, spokesman for the British taskforce in Helmand, according to The Guardian. "Our thoughts are with their families, friends and fellow Gurkhas at this time."

While British and Afghan officials confirmed the shooter was wearing a police uniform, it was not immediately clear whether or not he was a genuine member of the police force or an insurgent in disguise, reported The Telegraph. The killer fled the scene and a search is underway.

According to BBC, local police said the gunman may be hiding with the Taliban.

If the shooter is confirmed to be an Afghan police officer, the total of British troops shot dead by members of Afghan forces in 2012 would reach 11, accounting for a quarter of British deaths.

The soldiers' bodies were being repatriated on Tuesday.