3 British Soldiers killed in friendly fire accident


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From the BBC


'Friendly fire' kills UK soldiers

Seventy-three UK troops have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001
Three British troops have been killed in Afghanistan by suspected "friendly fire", the Ministry of Defence said.
The MoD said the soldiers, from 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, were killed on Thursday at around 1830 local time (1500 BST).

It is understood the soldiers died when US fighter planes, called to support ground troops, dropped a bomb near their patrol in Helmand province.

Two other soldiers were also injured. Next of kin have been informed.

The MoD said all of the soldiers were taking part in a fighting patrol to disrupt Taleban activity to the north west of Kajaki, in Helmand province, when the incident occurred.

They came under attack from Taleban insurgents and during the firefight that followed, close air support was called in, according to the MoD.

It is understood the explosion from a bomb dropped by the one of two US F15 aircraft killed the three soldiers, who were declared dead at the scene.

The injured soldiers were evacuated by helicopter to the medical facility at Camp Bastion.

The incident is under investigation.

Royal Anglian fatalities

It is believed to be the first incident of British service personnel being killed in a friendly fire incident involving American military personnel outside Iraq.

In February, Defence Secretary Des Browne told MPs that since 1990, 12 UK service personnel had been killed in friendly fire incidents involving American military personnel in Iraq.

"There have been no confirmed reports of British service personnel killed in friendly fire incidents involving American military personnel in Afghanistan or elsewhere," he added.

The deaths mean the total number of UK troops killed while on operations in Afghanistan since 2001 has risen to 73. Fifty have been killed in action.

The Royal Anglian Regiment has lost six of its members in the last four months.

The last person to die from the Royal Anglians was on 11 August when Captain David Hicks was killed during an attack by the Taleban on his patrol base northeast of Sangin in Helmand province.

The death toll of nine soldiers from one regiment in such a short period is one of the worst to be suffered by a battalion since Operation Herrick, the campaign in Afghanistan, began in 2001.



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