Wife's tribute to 'great' soldier

Andover Advertiser: Captain Walter Barrie leaves a son, Callum Captain Walter Barrie leaves a son, Callum

A British soldier who was shot dead by a rogue member of the Afghan army as he played in a football match on Remembrance Day has been hailed as a "great man" by his wife.

Captain Walter Barrie was playing in a match between British soldiers and members of the Afghan National Army (ANA) at his base on Sunday when he was shot at close range in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand province, the Ministry of Defence said.

Capt Barrie, from Glasgow, had been mentoring and advising a brigade of the ANA to take over security in an area of southern Afghanistan.

The 41-year-old, of The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, had served for 25 years, including tours of Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo, Northern Ireland and Afghanistan in 2008.

His wife Sonia said: "Captain Walter Barrie was great man, a doting and amazing father and a fantastic husband. He was much loved and will be missed by many. The family would ask that their privacy is respected during this very difficult time."

The death of Capt Barrie, who leaves 15-year-old son Callum, takes to 438 the number of UK service members who have lost their lives since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001.

The "green-on-blue" death brings the number of British servicemen killed by Afghan soldiers or police to 14 this year, compared to just one in 2011, three in 2010, and five in 2009. At least 54 international troops have died as a result of such attacks, where Afghans turn their weapons on their coalition colleagues.

Capt Barrie, who was deployed on August 31, was described by the MoD as an "approachable and compassionate officer" who "cared deeply for the wellbeing of those around him and had unparalleled rapport with all ranks".

Former army commander Colonel Richard Kemp, who led UK forces in Afghanistan, said the recent rise of "green-on-blue" attacks was part of the Taliban's attempt to give UK troops "a bloody nose" before withdrawing from the country.

Speaking on ITV's Daybreak, he said: "They know we are getting out in 2014 and the minute they found out I would be pretty confident that their efforts were focused on showing the world and showing their supporters in particular that they would be driving us out and giving us a bloody nose, and this is a very effective way of doing it."

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