Soldier risked life to help save Afghan girl

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The Independent Online

A British soldier has been commended for putting his life at risk rather than endanger a 10-year-old Afghan girl during a firefight in Helmand. Lance Corporal Craig Murfitt was shot in the head by an insurgent who was using the girl as a "human shield". L/Cpl Murfitt, 25, of the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, said: "I knew I could take him down but, being a dad myself, I didn't want to run the risk. So I waited, hoping that the child would drop down and give me a clear shot."

However, the gunman opened fire and Lance Corporal Murfitt was hit on the side of his helmet, knocking him over. “I tried to stand but I had disco legs and just had to sit down again for a bit,” he said.

Lance Corporal Murfitt, from Devon, was praised by senior officers for upholding the highest standards of “courageous restraint”, the doctrine which asks service personnel to exercise caution in order to minimise civilian casualties.

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