Soldiers shot by Afghan named

 

Three British soldiers shot dead by a man wearing an Afghan police uniform were named by the Ministry of Defence today.

Guardsman Craig Andrew Roderick and Guardsman Apete Saunikalou Ratumaiyale Tuisovurua of the 1st Battalion the Welsh Guards and Warrant Officer Leonard Perran Thomas of the Royal Corps of Signals died on Sunday.

The men, members of an Afghan Police Advisory Team, had been helping organise a shura - or meeting of elders - at Checkpoint Kamparack Pul in Nahr-e-Saraj, Helmand Province, when they were shot and fatally wounded.

They received first aid at the scene but died of their injuries.

A man believed to be responsible for the shooting is in custody, the MoD said.

WO2 Thomas, 44, was on his final tour in Afghanistan, having served since 1990 in units including the Coldstream and Welsh Guards before joining the RCS. He leaves behind his mother Sylvia, long-term partner Rachel, and younger brother Tristan, 43.

Cardiff-born Guardsman Roderick, 22, was a trainee bricklayer before joining the Welsh Guards in September 2009, based in Aldershot. He leaves behind his parents Mike and Sadie, two sisters Katie and Lucinda Emily, step-brother Jay, grandmother Margaret, and girlfriend Zoe.

Fijian Guardsman Tuisovurua, 28, had been a soldier for little more than a year, having finished his training and joined the regiment in June 2011, based in Hounslow.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said: "I am saddened to hear of this cowardly act which has taken the lives of three very brave British soldiers.

"My thoughts are with the families of Warrant Officer Class 2 Leonard Thomas, Guardsman Craig Roderick and Guardsman Apete Tuisovurua whose lives were cut short in such tragic circumstances. They gave their lives protecting Britain's national security; their efforts will not be in vain and we will always remember them."

The attack on the soldiers was the latest in a growing number of so-called "green on blue" attacks in which members of the Afghan security or police forces have opened fire on international allies.

Four other British soldiers have died in similar circumstances so far this year.

The Ministry of Defence said there had been 16 "green on blue" UK fatalities since 2008, including the seven killed this year. In 2011, there was only one such death.

The family of WO2 Thomas, known as "Pez" described him as "a military man through and through".

"He thrived in extreme environments, both in the military and in his spare time," they said in a statement.

"He was a keen climber and mountaineer and will be sorely missed by everyone who had the privilege to have met him."

Colonel Alan Richmond OBE, commander of the military stabilisation support group, with which WO2 Thomas was serving, said he was "a soldier of great experience, wisdom and dedication".

"The toughest jobs are given to the most able and 'Pez' was deployed to a challenging area of Helmand," he said.

"It was whilst working tirelessly to build the foundations for a lasting peace that he was so tragically struck down alongside cherished colleagues from the Welsh Guards.

"For our small tight-knit team in Helmand the grief will be most acute but the loss will undoubtedly strengthen our resolve to get back out and continue his selfless work."

Royal Navy WO2 Jack Harrison, who served alongside WO2 Thomas, said: "His long suffering work on the present tour highlighted his professionalism and fortitude with long hours of work spent on slow moving projects which took time to show their rewards.

"He never despaired and kept grafting toward the long term goals.

"His experience, combined with his readiness to give his opinions at all levels were a godsend to his team and his humorous moans will long be remembered."

Both Guardsman Roderick and Guardsman Tuisovurua were working in a police advisory team mentoring Afghan police.

A passionate Cardiff City fan who had joined the army so he could serve in Afghanistan, Guardsman Roderick was described as having had boundless enthusiasm and a bright future in the service.

"Words cannot describe how the loss of our precious Craig has affected us all," his family said in a statement.

"The vast void left by this tragedy will never be filled.

"Everyone who knew him will miss his big smile and his sense of humour.

"He was the best son, brother or friend you could have wished for, we were privileged to have known him. He will always be missed and never forgotten."

Guardsman Tuisovurua, who leaves behind his mother, father, four brothers and three sisters, was described as being popular because of his "wonderful smile and relaxed attitude".

Lieutenant Colonel Dino Bossi, commanding officer of 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, paid tribute to both men.

"Guardsman Craig Roderick died doing the job that he loved - he had joined the Army expressly to go to Afghanistan and was in his element out here thriving on the austere conditions, the hard physical work and the mental challenge of soldiering," he said.

"He was an integral and much loved member of a close-knit team."

He added: "Guardsman Apete Tuisovurua was a gentle and decent man who was defined by his love of sport, his uplifting company and his willingness to go out of his way to help anyone.

"One of nature's true gentlemen, he had a deeply moral outlook on life and enduring principles by which he lived. He was extremely fit and robust but without show or arrogance. Everybody liked him - one could not fail to - and his infectious smile broke down barriers wherever he went."

Prime minister David Cameron has condemned the killings and said the Government would do everything in its power to see that the gunman was brought to justice.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Arts and Entertainment
JK Rowling will not be releasing a 'romance' novel anytime soon
books
Life and Style
tech

Of all the computers Apple has ever made there’s only one that Steve Jobs had to sell his car to finance

Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidates on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
One of the 'princesses' in the video
videoYouTube reinstates sweary video after takedown for 'violating terms'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SQL Developer with T-SQL, Watford, Hertfordshire - £350 - £360

£350 - £360 per day: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer with T-SQL, Watford, Hertfor...

Business Intelligence Consultant - Central London - £80,000

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Intelligence Consultant - C...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£70 - £85 per day: Randstad Education Group: SEN Teaching Assistants needed in...

Year 4 Teacher required for 2 terms

£21500 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education ar...

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?