09/08/2010

NI-Born Police Mentor Dies In Afghanistan

A Northern Ireland man - believed to be in his early 50s - has been killed in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan.

The Foreign Office has confirmed that Ken McGonigle from Co Tyrone was working as a police mentor when he was shot by an escaped prisoner in the Musa Qala district on Saturday.

Mr McGonigle was a father of four originally from the Trillick area.

It has also emerged that two US marines were killed in the incident along with the gunman.

He said the victim was a former police officer who had been working for a civilian security company in Afghanistan training local security forces.
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The firm, New century, is believed to be run by former Royal Irish regiment officer, Colonel Tim Collins, whose stirring speech to his men on the way to battle in the Iraqi conflict made his famous worldwide.

Retired Detective Chief Superintendent Norman Baxter, a 30-year veteran of the RUC and PSNI, is also on the management team.

Mr McGonigle, was a former police officer who lived in Magheramason, Co Londonderry.

Last week saw the funeral of an Army officer from Co Armagh buried with full military honours in his home town of Portadown after being shot by a rogue police officer in Afghanistan.

See: Armagh-born Gurkha Officer Buried

(BMcC/GK)

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