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Funeral for murdered sapper Patrick Azimkar

By Deborah McAleese

The funeral of one of the soldiers killed outside their barracks in Antrim is taking place in London today.

Sapper Patrick Azimkar, from London, was shot dead as he and Mark Quinsey collected pizzas outside the Massareene Army base on March 7.

A multi-faith funeral service will be held for Sapper Azimkar (21) at the Guards Chapel in Birdcage Walk. The funeral of Sapper Quinsey, 23, from Birmingham, was held on Wednesday. Both men had been due to go to Afghanistan.

The soldiers, who served with 25 Field Squadron of 38 Engineer Regiment, died and two pizza delivery workers were injured as more than 60 bullets were fired in 30 seconds from automatic weapons.

Dissident republican group the Real IRA has claimed responsibility for the shootings.

Sapper Azimkar, who was known as Pat, was a talented footballer who had trials with Tottenham Hotspur when he was younger. Fellow soldiers have paid tribute to his “cheeky smile” and tireless work ethic.

Lt Col Roger Lewis, commanding officer of 38 Engineer Regiment, earlier described him as “dedicated, ambitious and full of energy”.

“During training for our deployment to Afghanistan, Sapper Azimkar showed his true grit and determination, making absolutely certain that he was fully prepared for the exacting and demanding conditions to come,” he said.

“It was his performance during this training, and in particular his commitment to supporting his mates, that showed his full potential for training as a non-commissioned officer.”

Belfast Telegraph

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