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Last Updated: Monday, 11 September 2006, 10:57 GMT 11:57 UK
Servicemen's bodies brought home
The coffin containing the body of Private Craig O'Donnell of the 5th Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland  being carried
The flag-draped coffins were carried from the transport plane
The bodies of five British servicemen killed in recent attacks in Afghanistan have been repatriated to the UK.

They arrived in a transport aircraft at RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire.

The men include L/Cpl Paul Muirhead, L/Cpl Luke McCulloch and Fijian Ranger Anare Draiva, all from the 1st Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment.

Private Craig O'Donnell was from the 5th Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland and Cpl Mark Wright was from the 3rd Battalion Parachute Regiment.

The five servicemen were all killed this month after attacks by insurgents in Afghanistan.

Defence Secretary Des Browne and Chief of the Defence Staff Air Chief Marshall Sir Jock Stirrup joined the men's families and friends at Brize Norton for the repatriation service.

The coffin bearers were drawn from the three units of the deceased.

September attacks

Ranger Draiva, 27, was killed in an attack by Taleban insurgents on his base at Musa Quala, in Helmand Province on 1 September.

Anare Draiva
A superb, strong and courageous soldier
Lt Col McGovern speaking of Ranger Draiva

His commanding officer Lt Col Michael McGovern called him "a superb, strong and courageous soldier".

L/Cpl Muirhead, 29, was critically injured in the same incident and died five days later in hospital, with his parents from Bearley, Warwickshire, at his bedside.

Col McGovern, said he had been "a calm, confident and determined member of the Patrols Platoon."

L/Cpl Luke McCulloch, 21, the third soldier who died from the 1st Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment, was killed in a battle with insurgents in Sangin, in Helmand province, on 6 September.

The serviceman, originally from Cape Town, South Africa, was a "truly outstanding soldier", Col McGovern said, adding he had been "a delight to have around and always the centre of attention".

Corporal Mark William Wright
Cpl Mark Wright: "An outstanding soldier"

Pte O'Donnnell, 24, from Clydebank, Dunbartonshire, was killed in a suicide bomb attack on a Nato military convoy on 4 September.

His girlfriend Jessica is expecting their first child in December.

The soldier's parents, Robert and Lorraine, said their son had been "a happy-go-lucky person who always put others first."

Cpl Wright from Edinburgh, was killed in a landmine explosion in northern Helmand province on 6 September. Five other service personnel were injured in the same incident.

His commanding officer, Lt Col Stuart Tootal, said the 27-year-old had been an "an outstanding soldier".

He said Cpl Wright was killed while attempting to assist a fellow paratrooper who had been injured in a mine incident.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Scenes from the repatriation of the five soldiers



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