Troops Killed In Afghanistan "Had No Mines Kit"

Inquest Into Deaths Of British Soldiers


The extent of military training and equipment to detect mines has been called into question at an inquest into the deaths of four British soldiers in Afghanistan.

Corporal Sean Reeve, 28, of the Royal Signals, and Territorial Army special forces soldiers Corporal Sarah Bryant, 26, of the Intelligence Corps, Lance Corporal Richard Larkin, 39, and Private Paul Stout, 31,were killed near Lashkar Gah by a mine in June 2008.

A staff sergeant, known as Soldier O, told the hearing that troops did not get any metal detection training and that metal detectors were unavailable when they were being trained in the UK for Afghanistan.

Speaking from behind a screen, he said: "It was my belief there was not only a theatre-wide shortage of that equipment but if it was theatre-wide it would certainly be back at home as well. We didn't receive any training in the use of Ebex (a metal detector)."

Coroner David Masters told the inquest in Wiltshire during his opening on Monday: "(Soldier O) tells us that that point had not been searched prior to the explosion on the assumption that it had been done by the Royal Scots previously."

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Andrew Tucker, head of Irwin Mitchell's Armed Forces Team commented, “This is yet another tragic death, that appears to call into question the suitability of equipment supplied to Service personnel and specifically, British Special Forces."