A gunman who shot dead five British soldiers is reportedly "safe" and back with the Taliban, sources told Sky News.

The report came as Downing Street announced that Prime Minister Gordon Brown would make a major speech on Afghanistan on Friday.

Warrant Officer First Class Darren Chant, Sergeant Matthew Telford and Guardsman Jimmy Major from the Grenadier Guards died alongside Acting Corporal Steven Boote and Corporal Nicholas Webster-Smith from the Royal Military Police.

They were shot dead by an Afghan police officer as they rested at a military compound in Helmand province.

The Taliban has said it is behind the killings and there are claims the Afghan police is rife with insurgents.

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