Page last updated at 16:23 GMT, Tuesday, 8 September 2009 17:23 UK

Officer recalls effect of murders

Sappers Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey
Sappers Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey were killed in March

The commanding officer of two British soldiers murdered outside barracks in Antrim has spoken of the effect of the killings on troops in Afghanistan.

Sappers Mark Quinsey and Patrick Azimkar had been due to fly out to the country when they were killed in March in a Real IRA attack.

Lieutenant Colonel Mike Campbell, who is serving in Helmand, said troops had become "more aware" of their families in the aftermath of the killings.

But he said they had got great support.

"It happened just as we were deploying, in fact we had soldiers deploying on the flight that those two unfortunate men were due to go on," he said.

"I can't say it didn't have an effect, in fact people suddenly became more aware of the families they were leaving behind.

"I think whenever you come on deployment you worry about your family and I think something like that happening just exacerbates those concerns.

"We were really well supported back in the province, with assistance from our own rear party and from the two brigades that we worked to there and they have done everything possible to reassure both our families and those of us out here that they are all being well looked after."

Sappers Mark Quinsey, 23, from Birmingham and Patrick Azimkar, 21, from London were shot dead at the gates of Massereene Army base in March as they collected pizzas from delivery men.

They were members of 38 Engineer Regiment, a sister unit of Lieutenant Colonel Campbell's 19 Combat Service Support Battalion, Royal Logistic Corps.

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