Skip to main content

'Insider' attack takes life of British soldier in Afghanistan

By Ben Brumfield, CNN
updated 8:00 AM EST, Tue January 8, 2013
Map: Nahr-e Saraj, Helmand province
Map: Nahr-e Saraj, Helmand province
  • NEW: Six other ISAF soldiers are wounded, official says
  • The attack occurred on a patrol base in Helmand
  • The deceased soldier's family has been informed
  • More than 50 died last year in similar attacks

(CNN) -- A gunman believed to be an Afghan soldier killed a British service member Monday, when he opened fire on ISAF and Afghan soldiers, according to the UK Ministry of Defence.

The "insider" attack occurred on a patrol base in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province. The victim was part of an engineer's regiment, MoD spokesman Tom Bennett said in a statement. Six other ISAF soldiers were wounded in the attack, another MoD spokesman said.

The term "insider" refers to strikes by Afghan National Army soldiers, police or by militants wearing their uniforms on members of NATO, with whom they are working together.

Read more: Baby's arrival surprises British base in Afghanistan

"Next of kin have been informed," Bennett said. The soldier's family has asked that no further details be released for 24 hours.

More than 50 people were killed in Afghanistan in similar attacks last year. The Afghan government calls the killings acts of terrorism.

Read more: NATO releases details of brazen raid on base in Afghanistan

Such attacks have triggered concerns about the stability of Afghan security forces ahead of planned NATO withdrawals in 2014.

In early October, an attack by an Afghan solider in Wardak province turned into an exchange of fire between U.S. and Afghan troops.

Read more: Britain's Cameron pays surprise visit to troops in Afghanistan

CNN's Alexander Felton contributed to this report.

Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 7:27 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.