Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

‘Typical of his bravery, Cpl Binnie went to deal with the enemy himself’

Sean Binnie

Amanda Binnie said it was a great comfort to her to know that her husband died a hero.

She was speaking after the Ministry of Defence revealed details of Sean’s last moments.

Cpl Binnie had been part of a battlegroup mentoring the Afghan National Army when he was shot by Taliban insurgents while carrying out a routine patrol in the Musa Qal’eh region earlier this month.

The investigation into his death revealeded: "Cpl Binnie and his team had deployed on patrol with 1st Company of 3/3/05 Kandak and some members of the Afghan National Police to deter enemy activity north of Musa Qal’eh. During the course of the operation they surprised a group of enemy who attempted to escape. The warriors from the ANA and ANP pursued the enemy through some alleyways and compounds in order to prevent them from occupying established firing positions in depth.

"In doing so, they became isolated and were soon pinned down by enemy fire in one of the compounds, taking two casualties in the process. In a manner typical of his bravery and leadership, Cpl Binnie went forward to deal with the enemy himself, scaling two compound walls and deploying one of his team-mates as a point of fire to cover his final approach.

"The situation was made more complex by the presence of women and children in the building, but Cpl Binnie had the presence of mind and discipline to make a clear assessment of the situation and positively identify his target. He posted a grenade through the compound doorway and while doing so sustained a fatal gunshot wound."

The investigation into Cpl Binnie’s death stated: "Corporal Binnie and his team had deployed on patrol with 1st Company of 3/3/05 Kandak and some members of the Afghan National Police to deter enemy activity north of Musa Qaleh.

"During the course of the operation, they surprised a group of enemy who attempted to escape.

"The warriors from the ANA and ANP pursued the enemy through some alleyways and compounds in order to prevent them from occupying established firing positions in depth.

"In doing so, they became isolated and were soon pinned down by enemy fire in one of the compounds, taking two casualties in the process.

"The OMLT pushed forward to help and received a message that the ANA needed grenades to help them clear the enemy from the main compound building.

"In a manner typical of his bravery and leadership, Cpl Binnie went forward to deal with the enemy himself, scaling two compound walls and deploying one of his team mates as a point of fire to cover his final approach.

"The situation was made more complex by the presence of women and children in the building, but Cpl Binnie had the presence of mind and discipline to make a clear assessment of the situation and positively identify his target.

"He posted a grenade through the compound doorway and while doing so, sustained a fatal gunshot wound.

"The grenade killed the two enemy inside and proved to be the turning point of the bathe. The remaining enemy broke contact and the ANA and ANP were able to extract in good order and without sustaining further casualties."

Mrs Binnie was given the report by the Army and said it has helped to clarify the circumstances which led to her husband’s death.

"It has answered some questions because I have heard lots of different stories about what happened. At least now I have the truth of what happened and I know Sean did what I thought he did, and that he really was a hero," she said.

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