Soldier from Nelson killed by Afghan soldier with a personal grievance, inquest hears

Lance Corporal Michael Foley

Lance Corporal Michael Foley

First published in Pendle

A SOLDIER from Nelson was shot dead by a rogue Afghan soldier with a personal grievance, an inquest has heard.

Father-of-three Lance Corporal Michael Foley, 25 was killed at his forward operating base in Lashkar Gah on March 26 last year.

Sergeant Luke Taylor, 33, from Bournemouth, a Royal Marine, also died in the firefight.

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

They became increasingly agitated as they were quite 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 sergeant unloaded rounds from a machine gun.

L/Cpl Foley, a former Barrowford Primary and Colne Primet High School pupil, was hit in the head.

Both men died instantly from non-survivable injuries.

The coroner ruled they were unlawfully killed while on active duty overseas.

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

A soldier since 2003, L/Cpl Foley, and his family had settled close to his barracks in Didcot, Oxfordshire, with wife Sophie and three young sons Calum, Warren and Jake.

At his funeral last April, his commanding officer Major BJ Cattermole paid tribute to a man who was “the epitome of a modern soldier”.

He said: “Nothing was too much trouble for him, his smile and indefatigable sense of humour were enough to raise the spirits of everyone who came in touch with him.

“He was the epitome of a modern soldier, at ease with all ranks. He gave his life protecting those he loved.”

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