Gurkhas killed in Afghanistan were 'betrayed': London

13th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

An Afghan soldier who killed three British army Gurkha soldiers on Tuesday "betrayed" his comrades in a "suspected premeditated attack," officials in London said.

The killer was still on the run, but "strenuous efforts" were being made to find him, they said.

Britain's Defence Secretary Liam Fox called it a "despicable and cowardly act", but insisted it would not deter British troops from training up local Afghan forces.

The troops killed were Gurkhas, who are drawn from Nepal. The attacks came on an army base in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday.

"The soldiers were killed in a suspected premeditated attack by a member of the Afghan National Army using a combination of weapons," the Ministry of Defence said.

A spokesman for Task Force Helmand, Lieutenant Colonel James Carr-Smith, added: "Three soldiers from the 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles Battle Group were killed this morning in southern Nahr-e Saraj, Helmand Province.

"We believe these were the actions of a lone individual who has betrayed his International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Afghan comrades."

Fox said: "This is a despicable and cowardly act, and my thoughts go out to the family and friends of those who have lost their lives.

"This incident will be thoroughly investigated by ISAF and the Afghan security forces, and we will do everything we can to bring the individual responsible to justice.

"Training and developing the Afghan National Security Forces is vital to the international mission in Afghanistan and today's events will not undermine the real progress we continue to make.

"British and ISAF forces are working shoulder to shoulder with Afghans and will continue to do so undeterred."

© 2010 AFP

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