Page last updated at 15:44 GMT, Thursday, 18 December 2008

Afghanistan war dead flown home

Military cortege
Crowds lined the route as the cortege made its way through Wootton Bassett

The bodies of five service personnel killed in Afghanistan in the past week have been brought back to the UK.

Sgt John Manuel, Corporal Marc Birch and Marine Damian Davies died on Friday in a blast caused by a suspected 13-year-old suicide bomber.

Earlier that day, L/Cpl Steven Fellows was killed in an explosion on a routine patrol in an armoured vehicle.

Lt Aaron Lewis died on Monday when the gun position he was commanding came under attack.

Family members watched in silence as the military transport aircraft touched down at RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire at exactly 1100 GMT.

Enemy fire

Sgt Manuel, 38, from Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, and 26-year-old Cpl Birch, from Kingsthorpe, Northamptonshire, were serving with Arbroath-based 45 Commando.

Marine Davies, 27, from Telford, Shropshire, was with the Commando Logistics Regiment based at RMB Chivenor in north Devon.

L/Cpl Fellows, 26, from Sheffield, was also a member of 45 Commando.

Lt Lewis, 26, from Essex, served with 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, based at the Royal Citadel in Plymouth.

The number of British military deaths in Afghanistan since the start of operations in 2001 rose to 134 on Wednesday with the announcement that a soldier from 1st Battalion The Rifles was killed by enemy fire.

The cortege made its way from RAF Lyneham through the streets of Wootton Bassett, where veterans and local people lined the route as a mark of respect.

Post-mortem examinations will be carried out later on the five service personnel at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

It is not yet known when the funerals will take place.

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