Soldier was unlawfully killed

L/Cpl Michael Foley (S)
L/Cpl Michael Foley (S)

Two British servicemen, including one from Burnley, were shot dead by a rogue Afghan soldier with a personal grievance, their inquest has heard.

Sgt Luke Taylor (33), of the Royal Marines, and L/Cpl Michael Foley (25), of the Adjutant General’s Corps, were killed at their forward operating base in Lashkar Gah on March 26th last year.

Their inquest in Oxford heard the Afghan was waiting outside the base with other men to collect a VIP.

They became increasingly agitated as they were correctly not allowed inside. Shortly after 10am a nearby gate was opened as a local interpreter was escorting a civilian from the base.

Deputy coroner Alison Thompson said: “That opening of the gate provided an opportunity for a man with an intent.

“It is not for me to make criticism of the soldiers and the way they operated, or attack individuals in relation to their responsibility for this tragic event.”

After bursting through the gate the Afghan National Army (ANA) sergeant unloaded rounds from a machine gun.

L/Cpl Foley, a married father-of-three, from Burnley, was hit in the head. Sgt Taylor, a married father-of-one from Bournemouth, Dorset, was hit in the left side of his chest with the bullet damaging his lung and aorta.

Both men died instantly from non-survivable injuries. The coroner ruled they were unlawfully killed while on active duty overseas.

Their killer injured another servicemen, who has subsequently recovered, before being shot dead.

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