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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 2 April, 2003, 05:21 GMT 06:21 UK
Inquiry into 'friendly fire' deaths
Tornado GR4
A Tornado GR4 was brought down
The government is promising a full inquiry into "friendly fire" incidents which have claimed the lives of five British servicemen during the war in Iraq.

Defence Minister Lewis Moonie said improved identification systems were introduced after the last Gulf War in 1991 and such events should not happen.

He has pledged a full investigation into the circumstances of each case in an attempt to prevent such incidents in the future.

The so-called "blue-on-blue" incidents have claimed the lives of two airmen from RAF Marham and three soldiers.

Mr Moonie said: "An inquiry into this will try and ensure it does not happen again.

British 'friendly fire' deaths
Lance Corporal of Horse Matty Hull
Corporal Stephen John Allbutt
Trooper David Jeffrey Clarke
Flight Lt Kevin Main
Flight Lt Dave Williams

"I think what is important when incidents like this do occur is to look very carefully at the causes and try to put it right."

Two RAF pilots died when their GR4 Tornado was shot down by an American Patriot missile near the Kuwaiti border.

Flight Lieutenant David Rhys Williams, 37, and Flight Lieutenant Kevin Barry Main, 35, were based at RAF Marham in Norfolk.

Lance Corporal of Horse Matty Hull, on duty with Colchester-based 16 Air Assault Brigade, died when a US A-10 tankbuster aircraft fired on two armoured vehicles.

In a third incident, two British soldiers from Staffordshire - Corporal Stephen John Allbutt, 35, and 19-year-old Trooper David Jeffrey Clarke - were killed when their Challenger II tank was mistakenly fired upon by British comrades in another tank.

Inquest opens into Tornado deaths
30 Mar 03  |  England

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