Soldiers 'unlawfully killed' by gunman

Five British soldiers shot dead by a rogue Afghan policeman were unlawfully killed, an inquest ruled yesterday. David Ridley, Coroner for Wiltshire and Swindon, recorded the verdict after a four-day hearing in Trowbridge, Wiltshire.

The troops were gunned down without warning by an officer, known only as Gulbuddin, who had been living alongside them at an Afghan National Police (ANP) checkpoint in Nad-e-Ali, Helmand.

Warrant Officer Class 1 Darren Chant, 40, Sergeant Matthew Telford, 37, and Guardsman Jimmy Major, 18, from the Grenadier Guards, died alongside Corporal Steven Boote, 22, and Corporal Nicholas Webster-Smith, 24, from the Royal Military Police on 3 November 2009.

The soldiers were sitting outside Checkpoint Blue 25, having returned earlier that day from a patrol. Their killer walked up to the soldiers and without warning shot them with an automatic AK47 rifle.