A ROGUE Afghan policeman who gunned down two British soldiers was “pro-ISAF” (the International Security Assistance Force) and a “real champion of the partnership” with coalition forces, an inquest has heard.
The man opened fire on Sergeant Gareth Thursby, 29, and Private Thomas Wroe, 18, from 3rd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment at a checkpoint in Helmand Province on 15 September, last year.
An inquest into their deaths heard how the Afghan local policeman, who was visiting from another checkpoint, opened fire on the men at the checkpoint known as Tora, in Nahr-e Saraj.
The deaths came in a spate of “green-on-blue” attacks, in which Afghans appeared to turn on their British counterparts, in the latter part of last year.
Lieutenant Callum Cameron, platoon commander of 3 Platoon, Alma Company, said Afghan Local Policemen (ALP) were based at checkpoint Tora with British troops, living, working and socialising with them.
He said the Afghan man who opened fire that day was based at a nearby checkpoint but was well known in the area.
“He was very identifiable,” he said. “He was known to be very pro-ISAF. He was a real champion of the partnership.”
Recording a verdict of unlawful killing, Assistant Coroner Alison Thompson said that although there was no apparent motive for the man opening fire on British troops, there was no established link between him and the insurgency in Afghanistan.