The Mirror reported:
RUTHLESS Taliban thugs last night claimed they captured and murdered a British soldier during a firefight with allied troops.
Commanders bragged about the cowardly execution in a chilling statement delivered after the young serviceman’s body was found a mile from his base yesterday. It is the first time a British soldier has been kidnapped in the 10 years of operation in Afghanistan.
Spokesman Qari Mohammad Yousuf said: “The soldier was captured yesterday during a firefight. When the fighting got more intense we couldn’t keep him so we had to kill him.”
But western military chiefs insisted there had been no fighting in the area where the soldier, from the 4 Scots regiment, went missing and the Taliban are well-known for exaggerating their battlefield exploits.
And confusion reigned as a senior Afghan general claimed the soldier was kidnapped after going for an early morning swim with two Afghan soldiers when he finished sentry duty.
There were even allegations the local troops handed him over to a death squad – which British commanders are checking.
An unnamed witness claimed the handover took place under the cover of darkness.
There were fears the Taliban had carried out the snatch after being tipped off that David Cameron was making a secret visit to visit troops in Helmand.