A NORTH-EAST soldier shot dead by a member of the Afghan National Army is being repatriated to the UK today.

Sapper Richard Reginald Walker – a member of 28 Engineer Regiment attached to 21 Engineer Regiment - was killed in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province on Monday, January 7.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which occurred at Patrol Base Hazrat.

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The 23-year-old father-of-one of Washington, Tyne and Wear, had been in Afghanistan since the start of September last year.

He was killed as he worked on a construction task with other military engineers as part of preparations to hand the camp over to Afghan security forces.

The Afghan soldier opened fire on international and Afghan troops, killing Spr Walker and injuring six others.

The plane carrying Spr Walker’s body is due to land at RAF Brize Norton at 1.30pm and the cortege will pass the memorial garden on the edge of Carterton at about 4.15pm.

It will arrive at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, where a post-mortem examination is due to be conducted at about 5.15pm.