Two British soldiers are believed to have committed suicide in Afghanistan yesterday, taking the number of British fatalities for the week to four.
The names of the servicemen have yet to be released by the Ministry of Defence, but next of kin have been informed.
One of the men was from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers based at Camp Bastion, the UK headquarters in Helmand province.
A second serviceman is thought to have shot himself a few miles away from the base.
Defence sources say an investigation has been launched into thesuspected Camp Bastion suicide, the camp at which Prince Harry is based – it is not thought to be the result of hostile action.
The Ministry of Defence said the soldier was a member of 104 Force Support Battalion and was attached to 4 Close Support Battalion, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME).
Lieutenant Colonel Richard Parry, spokesman for Joint Force Support (Afghanistan), said: ‘It is with deep sadness that I must report the death of a soldier from 4 Close Support Battalion, REME, at Camp Bastion, Helmand Province.
‘The condolences of all personnel serving with Joint Force Support (Afghanistan) are with the soldier’s family and friends at this extremely difficult time.’
Tragedy: Sergeant Gareth Thursby (left) and Private Thomas Wroe (right) died after a man feigned an injury
Hours after his death was announced the MoD also announced the death of a soldier from 28 Engineer Regiment, attached to 21 Engineer Regiment at Forward Operating Base Shawqat, Helmand province.
A spokesman said: ‘The soldier was involved in a shooting incident at a forward operating base in the district of Nad-e Ali. A full investigation is ongoing and the circumstances are not being treated as a hostile action.’
Spokesman for Task Force Helmand, Major Laurence Roche, said: ‘I am very sorry to report the death of a soldier serving with 21 Engineer Regiment who was involved in a shooting incident at Forward Operating Base Shawqat this morning.
‘This is a tragic day for everyone serving with Task Force Helmand in Afghanistan as we mourn this sad loss of life. Our thoughts are with the soldier’s family and friends during their time of grief and loss.’
The deaths bring the total number of members of UK forces to have died since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001 to 432.
They follow the murder of father of two Sergeant Gareth Thursby, 29, and Private Thomas Wroe, 18, of 3 Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington’s).
The men were shot at a checkpoint in the south of Nahr-e Saraj district in Helmand when a man dressed as an Afghan policeman feigned injury so they would help him.
When they approached he opened fire with an automatic weapon. Their deaths are the latest to result from a so-called ‘green on blue’ incident in which supposedly friendly Afghans turn on allied troops.
Last Friday, Lance Corporal Duane Groom, 32, of 1 Battalion Grenadier Guards, was killed by a roadside bomb in Nahr-e Saraj.
A total of 51 coalition soldiers have died in such incidents this year, including nine British servicemen.
- Two soldiers die in Afghanistan (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Two British soldiers die in Afghanistan (panarmenian.net)
- British soldier dies in ‘suspected suicide’ at Prince Harry’s camp in Afghanistan (thisismoney.co.uk)
- National News: Two soldiers die in Afghanistan (coventrytelegraph.net)
- Soldier dies in shooting incident (bbc.co.uk)
- Suicide at Prince Harry’s Afghan base: British soldier kills himself at Camp Bastion (mirror.co.uk)
- British soldier dies in ‘suspected suicide’ in Afghanistan (dailymail.co.uk)