RLC Soldier may have been killed by friendly fire

#1
From the Metro.

A coroner halted an inquest today when it emerged for the first time that a British soldier may have been killed by his own side.

Private Andrew Cutts, 19, of 13 Air Assault Support Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps, died after being hit by gun fire in Musa Qal'eh, Helmand Province, on August 6 last year.

The Ministry of Defence said at the time that Pte Cutts, of Blidworth in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, "died in action during an operation to disrupt Taliban forces".


RELATED ITEMS

VIDEO: Latest news bulletin
Today's top news headlines



But at today's hearing evidence suggested that the fatal shots may have come from British troops guarding the area.

Pte Cutts' convoy was leaving the town after delivering supplies to Danish troops when a burst of machine gun fire was heard, his inquest at Oxford's Old Assizes was told.

Surviving colleagues said he appeared to have been shot from behind as he faced an area where Taliban forces were suspected to be.

The rounds appeared to come from an area controlled by men from 3rd Battalion Parachute Regiment, the inquest heard.

Andrew Walker, assistant deputy coroner for Oxfordshire, said: "It is only now that we have heard that the shots that sadly killed Private Andrew Cutts came from an area opposite to where he was facing.

"It seems that the Royal Military Police must collect further statements about this. If Andrew Cutts was facing the direction that Corporal (Shaun) Broom had told him to face, he was shot from a direction that might indicate that the shots came from an area that was possibly controlled by Coalition forces."

Pathologist Dr Nicholas Hunt said Pte Cutts appeared to have been shot from behind.

Captain Tariq Ahmad, a doctor who certified Pte Cutts dead shortly after the incident, said he had mistakenly believed an exit wound above the soldier's eye was an entry wound.

Sergeant Steve Beech, of the Royal Military Police Special Investigation Branch, said: "In view of our not being able to say with certainty what direction the rounds came from, we need to speak to the men from 3 Para."

Mr Walker, adjourning the case until a date to be fixed, told members of Pte Cutts' family: "It is necessary for further evidence to be taken from those soldiers who were in the position where the rounds that killed Pte Cutts came from."

Pte Cutts and his twin brother James, who attended today's hearing, joined the Army together after finishing school.
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads

Top