Page last updated at 14:25 GMT, Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Marine's father forgives killers

Marine Robert McKibben
Marine Robert McKibben died in an explosion in Afghanistan last week

The County Down father of a Royal Marine who died in an explosion in Afghanistan last week has said he has forgiven his son's killers.

Robert McKibben, 32, was killed alongside another marine while on patrol in the Helmand province.

His father Anthony told the Mourne Observer that his son "was a lot like me, I believe that wherever he is now he has forgiven the men responsible.

"He was in someone else's country and understood the situation," he said.

Marine McKibben's remains were flown in to RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire on Wednesday.

His funeral is expected to take place next week in Westport, County Mayo, where he was raised.

A statement from his family in Mayo said "we are all extremely proud of our Robbie".

"He had very definite plans of how he wanted to live his life. He was always thoughtful, considerate and had an amazing sense of humour that touched so many lives.

"He was so full of life and was loved so much by his family and by all his friends. Robbie has left a huge void in our hearts and he will never be forgotten."

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