Royal Marine and Army medic killed in Afghanistan named

Cpl David O'Connor
Image caption Cpl David O'Connor was described as "one of the best"
Cpl Channing Day
Image caption Cpl Channing Day was a "star for the future"

A Royal Marine and an Army medic who died after being injured in Afghanistan have been named by the MoD.

They were Cpl David O'Connor, of 40 Commando, and Cpl Channing Day, of 3 Medical Regiment.

They were fatally injured in a firefight while on patrol with C Company in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province on Wednesday.

Cpl O'Connor, 27, was from Havant in Hampshire and Cpl Day, 25, was from Comber in County Down.

They were on patrol when they came under fire near the village of Char Kutsa. An Afghan man is also reported to have died in the incident.

The exact circumstances of the deaths are not yet clear.

According to BBC defence correspondent Caroline Wyatt, in Kabul, the Afghan police said an armed off-duty policeman was fired on by a British patrol, but the MoD said UK troops came under small arms fire.

It is possible the gun battle also involved other Afghan police from a nearby checkpoint, our correspondent said.

The MoD said in a statement the British patrol was not working with any Afghan partners at the time.

It added that at this stage it did not know what started the exchange of gunfire and an investigation was ongoing.

Cpl O'Connor was deployed to Afghanistan at the end of September as a section commander in the acting rank of corporal.

A statement released by his family said: "David's family and friends are greatly saddened by his loss and hope to be left to grieve privately."

Lt Col Matt Jackson, commanding officer, said Cpl O'Connor "was one of the best".

Cpl Day was the third British female to have died while serving in Afghanistan since 2001.

She joined the Army in 2005 and was deployed to Afghanistan on 2 October.

Her family said in a statement: "Channing was bubbly, sporty, beautiful and lived her life for the Army. She has died doing what she lived for and in the life that she loved."

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Media captionNorthern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson: "It is devastating for the family involved"

Lt Col Phillip de Rouffignac, commanding officer, said she was a "star for the future".

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said he was "deeply saddened" by the deaths.

He said: "Both have been highly praised by their colleagues for their courage and strong sense of duty. My thoughts are with their families, loved ones and colleagues in the Royal Marines and 3 Medical Regiment."

A total of 435 British military personnel have been killed in Afghanistan since operations started in 2001.

The first British woman to die in action was Cpl Sarah Bryant, 26, from Cumbria, in June 2008. She was one of four soldiers to be killed when her Snatch Land Rover was caught in an explosion in the Lashkar Gah area.

In April last year, Capt Lisa Jade Head, from 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps died in a UK hospital from injuries suffered in an explosion while clearing roadside bombs in the Nahr-e Saraj area. The 29-year-old was from Huddersfield.

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