England

Funeral for soldier Richard Walker killed in Afghanistan

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Media captionHundreds turned out to pay their respects in Washington

A soldier shot dead in Afghanistan in an insider attack was described as "amazing" at his military funeral.

Sapper Richard Walker from Leeds was killed on 7 January during his first deployment in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand.

The 23-year-old 28 Royal Engineer died and six others were injured when a rogue Afghan soldier opened fire.

Hundreds turned out to pay their last respects at Our Lady Blessed Immaculate Church in Washington.

'Loved his job'

Sapper Walker's partner, Abbie Revill, 23, was supported by friends and family as she held their 18-month-old daughter, Lilly-Faith.

Paying tribute to Sapper Walker, Lt Col Chas Story, Commanding Officer of 28 Engineer Regiment, said: "He was an amazing soldier, someone who worked hard and was a great friend and put his friends above everyone else.

Image caption Sapper Walker was shot during his first Helmand deployment

"He did everything for everyone else and he loved his job and we just can't believe that he's gone.

"He was so happy and so good on operations and he was making a real difference."

Lt Colonel Story said other colleagues in the Afghan National Army were just as upset about their loss.

"It's always hard, but we know it can sometimes happen and we know we have a job that we have to get on and do," he said.

"We know we're so close to finishing the job, we just need to keep going and make sure his sacrifice was not in vain.

"The Afghan soldiers are absolutely as gutted as we are."

The number of UK forces personnel to have died since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001 now stands at 440.

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