Thursday, 22 July 2010

Two more British soldiers shot dead in Afghanistan

From The Times:

"Two British soldiers were shot dead yesterday evening while trying to evacuate a wounded colleague during an operation in the usually calm provincial capital of Helmand.

Their deaths take to 15 the total number of British servicemen killed this month in a spate of attacks that included the killing of two officers and a Ghurka soldier by a rogue Afghan sergeant last week.

In the latest bloodshed, the soldiers, one from The Royal Dragoon Guards and the other from 1st Battalion Scots Guards, were part of a cordon that was providing security for a routine mission in Lashkar Gah.

Details of what happened next remained unclear this morning, but the two men were trying to evacuate another soldier who had been injured.

“In the courageous and selfless act of attempting to evacuate an injured colleague, they themselves were shot and fatally wounded, said Lieutenant Colonel James Carr-Smith, spokesman for Task Force Helmand.

Next of kin have been informed. The names of the two servicemen are expected to be released later today.

Reinforcing the heavy toll paid by British troops this month, the bodies of four servicemen killed in separate incidents recent days will be flown back to Britain later today.

Staff Sergeant Brett Linley, 29, of 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment, and Sergeant David Monkhouse, 35, of the Royal Dragoon Guards, both died on Saturday.

Their deaths followed those of Senior Aircraftman Kinikki Griffiths, 20, of 1 Squadron RAF Regiment, and Marine Jonathan Crookes, 26, of 40 Commando Royal Marines, who died the previous day.

The bodies of all four men will be flown back to to RAF Lyneham, Wiltshire and driven through the nearby village of Wootton Bassett."

What makes me especially angry is, first, that it is only too evident that our boys are achieving nothing 'over there' - they might be more usefully deployed in, say, Somalia or Yemen or, indeed, in Leeds, Leicester, Luton and London, where the threat from 'home-grown' terrorists is known to exist - and, second, that with our so-called 'leaders' giving out mixed messages as to the timing of our withdrawal from the hell-hole of Afghanistan, surely it is both sensible and considerate of the feelings of relatives and friends back here that no more losses should be sustained by our hard-pressed and brave soldiers. If it's OK to get out in 2015 or 2014 or 2013 or 2012 or 2011, why not now?

Bring our boys home!

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