Ashington, Northumberland, England, UK
Edinburgh International (EI), 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment.
7/2/2010 Kunduz Afghanistan
A NORTHUMBERLAND man has died while fighting the Taliban in a suicide attack in Afghanistan.Shaun Sexton, 30, who was born in Morpeth, died after being shot while on duty as a security guard in Northern Afghanistan, on Friday. Former soldier, Shaun, a husband and father, worked as a security guard for private firm Edinburgh International (EI), which has the contract to guard the offices of US aid contractor Development Alternatives Inc (DAI) in Kunduz.
The attack began at about 3.30am local time on Friday when a suicide bomber blew up a car outside DAI’s compound. At least five other militants wearing explosives vests ran inside the building and started a fierce gun battle. The attack, for which the Taliban has claimed responsibility, went on until around 10am and saw the American army called in to assist. Three other security guards – one German and two Afghans – were killed, and a second Briton was seriously injured.
Shaun has been labeled a hero by his bosses, and his father Bob.Last night, Bob, of Poplar Street, Ashington, said he had been told by his son’s bosses how he had saved lives in the incident. He described his son’s ordeal as “brave and heroic.”
“We know that he did save some people, he got people up on the roof, he was one of the last men down there fighting before he actually took a bullet.”
Shaun moved away from Morpeth around the age of five when the family left because of his father’s army duty. At the age of 17, he followed in his dad’s footsteps and joined the army. He was part of the Third Battalion The Parachute Regiment, reaching the rank of platoon sergeant, and went on tours in Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland. He was latterly stationed at Colchester, where he lived with his wife Laura, 28, and the couple’s eight-month-old daughter Poppy Grace Sexton. Shaun left the army last year and took the job with EI in March. Shaun’s Dad Bob, who lives with wife and Shaun’s mother Karen, said his son was “a very brave young man”.
“He was a very, very popular young boy. He was a very popular lad down in Colchester where his parent unit was. “We will all sadly miss him.”
Shaun also had two sisters, Sharlene and Nattallie, and a brother Ryan.
Last night, a spokesman for EI said that an investigation with the Afghan Security Forces and the International Security Assistance Force was ongoing.
DAI President and CEO James Boomgard said: “The actions taken by the EI security staff in defence of the compound and project staff were nothing short of heroic. We are deeply grateful for their bravery, and for the work they do day in, day out, to make our development mission possible.”