Page last updated at 12:14 GMT, Monday, 9 March 2009

Murdered colleagues remembered

Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey
Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey were murdered on Saturday night

Colleagues of the two soldiers shot dead in Northern Ireland on Saturday have been paying tribute to the men.

Sappers Mark Quinsey, 23, from Birmingham and Patrick Azimkar, 21, from Wood Green, London were killed at Massareene Army base in Antrim.

Both the dead soldiers belonged to 25 Field Squadron of 38 Engineer Regiment.

Sapper Azimka, who was known as Pat, was a talented footballer who had trials with Tottenham Hotspur when he was younger.

Fellow soldiers said he was looking forward to going to Afghanistan on his first operational tour.

They paid tribute to his "cheeky smile" and tireless work ethic.

Lieutenant Colonel Roger Lewis, commanding officer of 38 Engineer Regiment, said he was "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.

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"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.

"The regiment and I have been shocked and stunned by the death of this very promising young soldier.

Sapper Quinsey, who joined the Army when he was 19, was described as a "charismatic and affable young soldier" with vast potential.

Friends within his regiment spoke fondly of his "Brummie banter" and dry sense of humour.

Lt Col Lewis said: "Sapper Quinsey was an outwardly calm, resolute and motivated young soldier.

"A social livewire and hugely popular across the regiment, he was rarely away from the centre of the action.

"Professionally his approach reflected his infectious enthusiasm for life."



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