Ex-policeman shot dead in Afghanistan

A former Northern Ireland police officer working for a security services company has been shot dead in Afghanistan.

Father-of-four Ken McGonigle, 51, came from Magheramason, Co Londonderry.

He was shot by an escaped insurgent on Saturday. Two US Marines were also killed in the incident in Musa Qala in northern Helmand province.

Relatives and friends were comforting Mr McGonigle's wife Gail and the couple's children today.

Their Presbyterian Church minister, Rev David Hillen, said: "Everybody is devastated. It's a terrible tragedy."

Mr McGonigle was in Afghanistan working as a police mentor for security services company New Century, headed up by former Royal Irish Regiment commander Colonel Tim Collins.

A statement said: "Ken was a highly professional, deeply competent, well-admired and thoroughly committed colleague who made a material difference through his work."