Stop the War campaigners said today that the coalition was to blame for the deaths of two British servicemen in Afghanistan.
The Ministry of Defence confirmed that a Royal Air Force airman and a soldier from 1st Battalion Welsh Guards were killed in the Lashkar Gah district of Helmand province today, apparently at the hands of local police.
An International Security Assistance Force spokesman said that the attack was carried out by two people wearing Afghan police uniforms, one of whom was shot dead at the scene.
The latest incident brings the British death toll in Afghanistan to 414 since the 2001 invasion.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said: “British forces work alongside Afghan forces every day with thousands of contacts with them every day.
“This is a country that has an insurgency going on in it and, sadly, occasionally, these events occur.
“This is a society where people traditionally settle grievances by violence.”
The sacrifice British troops were making in Afghanistan was for “our own national security,” he claimed.
But Stop The War Coalition convener Lindsey German said: “The deaths of two British soldiers at the hands of Afghan police cruelly underlines the failure and futility of the war being conducted by Nato forces.
“These soldiers died because the British government would rather continue fighting an unjustified war that is being lost than admit that after 11 years nothing has been achieved but mass slaughter and destruction.”
Today's killings were the latest in a string of “green on blue” attacks in which members of the Afghan security forces have opened fire on Nato troops.
Two members of the Adjutant General’s Corps were shot dead in March by an Afghan soldier at British headquarters in Helmand province.
And in 2009 five British soldiers were killed after an Afghan policeman opened fire in a military compound in Nad e-Ali.
The number of such attacks has escalated in recent months, particularly since February when it emerged that US troops had burned copies of the Koran.
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