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Last Updated: Monday, 15 March, 2004, 21:23 GMT
Inquiry into deaths of soldiers
An inquiry has begun into the death of six soldiers shot dead in Iraq.

Corporal Russell Aston from South Derbyshire died with five colleagues whilst guarding a police station.

It is thought they refused to leave their posts at Al Majar al-Kabir on 24 June despite coming under attack.

The Army's Special Investigation Branch is looking into what happened, but the soldiers' families have been told they are not allowed to attend the inquiry.

However the relatives have been told they will be given edited transcripts of the proceedings of the inquiry, which is expected to last several weeks.

All six victims were Royal Military Police, members of the 156 Provost Company, attached to 16 Air Assault Brigade, based in Colchester, Essex.

Corporal Aston's father, Mike Aston, met Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon last month to give him a 1,000-name petition calling for the six soldiers killed in the ambush to be honoured.

The five other men who died were Corporal Simon Miller, 21, from Tyne and Wear, Sergeant Simon Alexander Hamilton-Jewell, 41, from Chessington, Surrey, Corporal Paul Graham Long, 24, Colchester, originally from South Tyneside, Lance-Corporal Benjamin John McGowan Hyde, 23, from Northallerton, Yorks, and Lance-Corporal Thomas Richard Keys, 20, from Bala, N Wales.

Call to honour ambush victims
05 Feb 04  |  Derbyshire

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