Northern Ireland

Prime Minister pays tribute to Cpl Channing Day

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Media captionDavid Cameron: ''Those in the Royal Medical Corp do a fantastic job''

The Prime Minister has paid tribute to a County Down soldier who was killed in Afghanistan last week.

Cpl Channing Day, 25, of 3 Medical Regiment and Cpl David O'Connor, 27, of 40 Commando, were fatally injured in a gun battle last week.

David Cameron told the House of Commons that the country owed "them and all others who have lost their lives a deep debt of gratitude".

The MoD is investigating how the soldiers died.

Mr Cameron said: "Their courage, their dedication and their sheer professionalism will never be forgotten by our nation and our sincere condolences are with their colleagues, their friends and their families."

The soldiers were in a fire fight while on patrol in Helmand province in which an Afghan man, thought to be an off-duty policeman, also died.

An initial review said that the killings were not caused by "friendly fire".

Cpl Day, who was from Comber, joined the Army in 2005 and was deployed to Afghanistan on 2 October.

She was the third British woman to have died while serving in Afghanistan since 2001.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister has said he is happy to meet the DUP to discuss the implementation of a military covenant in Northern Ireland.

He told the Strangford MP Jim Shannon he had already discussed the idea with the Northern Ireland First and Deputy First Ministers although he knew there were "issues" with it.

A military covenant is a pledge by Westminster to provide formal support for members of the armed forces and their families in recognition of the special nature of their service.

This pledge has not been adopted by the devolved Northern Ireland executive because of difficulties over cross-party support for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr Shannon also paid tribute to Cpl Day's courage.

"The community in Comber and across Northern Ireland are immensely proud of the service she gave," he added.

"Parliament and the whole of the United Kingdom salute her courage, her bravery and her heroism."

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