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Last Updated: Friday, 1 June 2007, 12:53 GMT 13:53 UK
MoD names soldier killed in crash
Cpl Mike Gilyeat
Cpl Mike Gilyeat was a photographer with the Army
The Ministry of Defence has named a soldier killed in a Nato helicopter which crashed in southern Afghanistan.

Corporal Mike Gilyeat, 28, from the Royal Military Police, died with five US crew and a Canadian colleague in the crash in Helmand province on Wednesday.

Cpl Gilyeat was a photographer with the media operations team based in Kandahar. He had been in the Army since 2002, the ministry said.

Nato said the Chinook helicopter may have been shot down by the Taleban.

It crashed in the Kajaki area of northern Helmand.

Fighting between Nato and Taleban insurgents has escalated in recent weeks, particularly in the south of Afghanistan.

'Gifted'

About 30,000 alliance troops and another 10,000 US-led ones have been battling to boost the authority of President Hamid Karzai.

Cpl Gilyeat, known as 'Gilly' to his friends, had previously served with the Army in Iraq and, more recently, in Northern Ireland.

He showed great flair and promise and had already produced several powerful images
Lt Col Mike Smith

He was travelling in the American aircraft to film US troops as part of a piece on an operation around Kajaki.

He died alongside Master Corporal Darrell Priede, 30, from Canada.

Lieutenant Colonel Mike Smith, Cpl Gilyeat's commanding officer in Regional Command (South), described him as "gifted and enthusiastic".

He said: "Despite being an experienced and proud military policeman he was thriving in his first employment as a news photographer.

"He showed great flair and promise and had already produced several powerful images."

New role

Cpl Gilyeat was born in Hanover, Germany, and followed his father into the Army in August 2002.

After serving in Iraq and Lisburn, Northern Ireland, he volunteered to deploy to Afghanistan to take on a new role in photography.

Defence Secretary Des Browne described him as "a talented, dedicated soldier and photographer".

He added: "His spirit will be greatly missed amongst those who knew him.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of all those who died."


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