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Five British soldiers killed in shooting

Article published on the 2009-11-04 Latest update 2009-11-04 10:10 TU

A member of the Afghan special police force in Herat.(Photo: Reuters)

A member of the Afghan special police force in Herat.
(Photo: Reuters)

Five British soldiers have been killed by a policeman in Afghanistan on Wednesday. The incident is now under investigation, say officials.

The soldiers had been mentoring Afghan police and living inside the checkpoint in the Nad-e'Ali district of Helmand Province where the incident occurred, Military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel David Wakefield told BBC radio.

“It would appear that an individual Afghan national policeman, possibly acting in conjunction with another, started firing within the checkpoint,” he said.

Three of the soldiers were from the Grenadier Guards and two from the Royal Military Police.

The shooting takes the number of British soldiers killed in Afghanistan up to 229, making this year the bloodiest for the British armed forces since the 1982 Falklands War.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown described the killings as “a terrible loss" but insisted he was still committed to Britain’s role in Afghanistan.

He said his country's troops had "the best possible support and equipment - and the right strategy, backed by our international partners, and by a new Afghan government ready to play its part in confronting the challenges Afghanistan faces."

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