Soldiers were unlawfully killed, rules coroner

THREE soldiers shot in their patrol base by a "rogue" Afghan colleague were unlawfully killed, a coroner has ruled.

Major James Joshua Bowman, Lieutenant Neal Turkington and Corporal Arjun Purja Pun, all of 1st Battalion the Royal Gurkha Rifles, were killed in the attack on their base in Helmand Province in the early hours of 13 July last year, the inquest in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, was told yesterday.

Sergeant Talib Hussein, 23, of the Afghan National Army, shot Maj Bowman, 34, from Salisbury, Wiltshire, dead in his sleeping quarters in Patrol Base 3 (PB3) in Nahr-e Saraj district, near Helmand's capital, Lashkar Gah.

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He then fired into the base's command centre, killing Lt Turkington, 26, from Craigavon, Co Armagh, Northern Ireland, and Cpl Pun, 33, from Nepal, and wounding four other UK soldiers before he escaped from the base.

Post-mortem examinations found that Maj Bowman, Lt Turkington and Cpl Pun all died from gunshot wounds, the inquest was told.

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