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Inquest rules Swindon-born corporal was unlawfully killed by Afghan
12:20pm Thursday 12th September 2013 in News
AN inquest has ruled that Swindon-born Corporal Channing Day was killed unlawfully after she was shot by an off-duty policeman in Afghanistan.
The policeman, known as Naqib, and another off-duty Afghan policeman killed Cpl Day, 25, and Corporal David O’Connor, 27, while the victims were on foot patrol on October 24 last year in Helmand’s Nahr-e-Saraj district.
Cpl Day, of 3 Medical Regiment, who was born in Swindon and grew up in Newtownards, Co Down, before joining the Army in 2005, was the third British servicewoman killed in Afghanistan since 2001.
She was deployed a month earlier to provide medical support to 40 Commando Royal Marines, Cpl O’Connor’s unit.
The British pair were on their way to train local police in first aid and spot roadside bombs when their patrol was attacked near the village of Char Kutsa.
Their inquest at Oxford County Hall heard that in the aftermath of the attack – in which Naqib was shot dead and the other gunman escaped – other Afghan policemen appeared ‘at ease’ and ‘unhelpful’.
Oxfordshire coroner Darren Salter, who recorded a verdict of unlawful killing while on active service, said the day before the attack Naqib and his brother lost face when they were disarmed by British soldiers outside the region’s Patrol Base One.
“First of all, to the extent that there was any doubt before, this was, and should be termed as, an insider attack,” Mr Salter said.
Describing Naqib, he added: “He was a known, identified member of the Afghan uniformed police and he was the person responsible for the inside attack.
“In terms of his motive, that is always going to involve some speculation, of course, because he is deceased. It doesn’t seem clear, and certainly there is no evidence, that he had any links to the insurgents or the Taliban.
“The incident the day before when Naqib and his brother were stopped and challenged at Patrol Base One does seem to be related and does seem to be a matter that contributed.
“And there was a loss of face for both him and his brother.
“It appears in evidence, particularly in evidence from the persons who were present, that it was this individual who fired the shots on Cpl Day and Cpl O’Connor before he was killed.
“It seems likely that there was a second attacker. It is clear to me in evidence that it was the attacker Naqib who fired first.”
Cpl Day and Cpl O’Connor were bringing up the rear of an eight-strong patrol group. The inquest heard they both died from single gunshot wounds to the chest.
Directly in front of them was intelligence expert Corporal Nick Brown.
He said he had seen Naqib, whose AK47 had orange tape wrapped round it, several times in the weeks before. He said he was usually friendly and they would communicate with each other in broken English or Pashtu, or by using hand gestures.
Cpl Brown said Naqib was known to be a drug user. Asked if he looked like he was under the influence of narcotics on the day of the attack, he said: “He did seem a bit vacant.”
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