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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 August, 2003, 01:43 GMT 02:43 UK
UK soldier 'killed as gun jammed'
Sgt Steven Roberts
Sgt Roberts was a passionate Cornishman
A British soldier was killed in the Iraq war because his weapon jammed, says his widow.

Sergeant Steven Roberts, 33, of the Second Royal Tank Regiment, was shot in the chest during a riot in Al-Zubayr, near Basra, on 24 March.

His widow Samantha told The Sun newspaper his Browning 9mm pistol failed when he had an Iraqi soldier in his sights.

The Ministry of Defence told the paper it was investigating the incident.

'No protective armour'

Mrs Roberts, 32, also claimed his flak jacket was not fitted with protective armour.

She told the paper: "He experienced a stoppage when he had the guy in his sights.

"I'm not sure what ensued after that. But he received gunshot wounds which killed him.

It's absolutely sickening to think that Steve was on a checkpoint with a gun that did not work and no body armour.
Samantha Roberts
"It's absolutely sickening to think that Steve was on a checkpoint with a gun that did not work and no body armour."

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence told the paper: "There is an investigation to find out if there is anything we can learn."

Sgt Roberts received a full military funeral in Yorkshire, where he lived, and a family funeral service in his hometown of Wadebridge, Cornwall.

He was the first British combat casualty of the war.




SEE ALSO:
Farewell for Desert Rats 'hero'
25 Apr 03  |  Cornwall


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