14/02/2011

'News Blackout' Over NI Soldier's Injuries

News of two further accidental deaths in Afghanistan means that three British soldiers have now died in accidents in just over 10 days - one being a Royal Irish Regiment (RIR) soldier from Bangor, Co Down.

Now - in another apparent accident - a Co Antrim soldier has been been badly wounded during training last week.

Asked to confirm that a young soldier from Newtownabbey had undergone emergency surgery last Wednesday night after being accidentially shot, a spokesman for HQ Task Force Helmand said: "We don't comment on injuries to British Army personnel."

The Media Ops Lieutenant refused to be drawn further and would not give any information on the incident - or say what the soldier's condition was after last week's emergency session in the operating theatre.

The news 'blackout' comes amid further tragedy with the latest to die by accident being soldiers serving with the Royal Logistic Corps who were killed in what is believed to have been a domestic fire.
News Image
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) released a statement that said the men - based at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan - hadn't died as a result of enemy action.

The MoD said the so far unnamed victims' next of kin have been informed and spokesman, Wing Cdr Martin Tinworth said: "Our heartfelt condolences go out to both soldiers' family and friends."

Earlier this month Bangor RIR Ranger David Dalzell, from 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment, was killed as a result of an operational accident while working at Checkpoint Ranger in Nad 'Ali, Helmand province, Afghanistan.

His bereaved relatives also expressed their concern for the colleague who may have fired the shot that fatally wounded their son.

"David died after being accidentally shot by another soldier, having returned to base from a patrol," they told the Press Association.

"The other soldier must also be suffering and our thoughts are with him as well," his parents said.

See: Two British Soldiers Die In Fire

(BMcC/GK)

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