Afghan gunned down soldier at Remembrance Day match

A British soldier was killed almost instantly by a gunshot wound to the chest when he was gunned down by a rogue member of the Afghan army while playing a football match on Remembrance Day, an inquest has heard.

Captain Walter Barrie was playing in a match with members from the Afghan National Army (ANA) and one other British soldier at his base on November 11 last year when he was shot at close range in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand province, Oxford Coroner’s Court heard.

The gunman, referred to as “S” during the hearing, was dressed in full ANA uniform when he approached the pitch and fired nine shots towards Capt Barrie using an M16 rifle.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

As the other soldiers fled, “S” moved towards a welfare tent for British troops and continued firing, the hearing was told.

The attack was stopped when the Afghan soldier was shot in the thigh, shoulder and head and detained by Isaf (International Security Assistance Force) soldiers, the inquest heard.

One Afghan soldier said the gunman had spoken of concerns for the welfare of his brother on the day of the shooting spree.

Intelligence officers had warned British troops of insider attacks after a similar incident in western Afghanistan on November 10.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Sixty per cent of insider attacks are followed by another within 72 hours, the hearing was told.

Capt Barrie, from Penicuik in Midlothian, had been mentoring and advising a brigade of the ANA to take over security in an area of southern Afghanistan before he was killed in the “green-on-blue” attack.

The 41-year-old, of The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, had served for 25 years, including tours of Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo, Northern Ireland and Afghanistan in 2008.

A post mortem examination revealed he died from a gunshot wound to the chest.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In a statement read to the court, consultant forensic pathologist Dr Nicholas Hunt said the injury had caused “extremely rapid loss of consciousness and death”.

The gunman, who was described as being in late teens or early 20s, of slim build, with a beard, was killed following the fatal assault.

Colour Sergeant George Parker said he understood the rogue soldier was Mohammad Ashraf, whose brother had been responsible for an attack on Spanish forces in Afghanistan days earlier.

Recording his verdict, Oxfordshire coroner Darren Salter said Capt Barrie was unlawfully killed while on active service.

Related topics: