Page last updated at 16:00 GMT, Saturday, 9 May 2009 17:00 UK

Army widow speaks of heartbreak

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Corporal Binnie's widow: 'Sean was my hero'

The Northern Ireland widow of a soldier shot dead in southern Afghanistan has said she has lost the love of her life.

Corporal Sean Binnie, 22, who served with the Black Watch 3rd battalion, was killed on a patrol in Helmand province on Thursday.

His widow, Amanda, who lives in east Belfast, said he died doing the job he loved.

"He just loved the Army," she told the BBC. "I think he knew he was not going to come home."

Cpl Binnie, who was originally from the Republic of Ireland, settled in Northern Ireland after meeting his future wife.

She said she was very proud of her husband, who she described as "my perfect man".

Amanda Binnie speaks of her devastation
Amanda Binnie has spoken of her devastation

"Sean was my hero. He was the love of my life and nobody will ever take his place in my heart. I have his heart, and he has mine. He was the perfect gentleman," she said.

The couple met in a Belfast nightclub in September 2007 while Mr Binnie was stationed at Palace Barracks in Holywood.

Several months later, he was transferred to barracks in Inverness in Scotland and he travelled to Northern Ireland every week to spend time with his future wife.

Cpl Binnie proposed to his wife on Valentine's Day last year and they married on 12 December.

She said he was passionate about the Army but also very brave, leaving out details about his job so he would not worry her.

"Everything he did was for the Army. He lived for it, he always talked about the Army. He was so humble about his job," she said.

Cpl Binnie was killed during a patrol with the Afghan National Army in the vicinity of Woqab, close to Musa Qaleh in Helmand province.

He was one of four British solders killed in Afghanistan on Thursday.

Before his death, he had left a letter for his wife with her father. It read: "I'm so sorry you have to read this letter, but I'll be waiting on the other side for you."

Since 2001, 157 UK troops have been killed on operations in Afghanistan.

Cpl Binnie's body will be brought to Northern Ireland for burial next week.



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