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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 December 2005, 15:52 GMT
Female soldier's bravery honour
Private Katrina Hodge
Pte Hodge's battalion is now back in the UK after serving in Iraq
A female soldier has been honoured after risking her life to disarm an Iraqi prisoner.

Pte Katrina Hodge, 18, from Tunbridge Wells in Kent, carried out her act of bravery while serving with the 1st Battalion, Royal Anglian Regiment.

She managed to restrain and disarm an Iraqi man who had got hold of two weapons after being detained in Basra.

Ms Hodge's instinctive actions have led to a commendation from the commanding officer of her unit.

Her bravery is even more remarkable because she had just been involved in a road crash.

'Adrenaline rush'

"We detained an Iraqi suspect and on the way back to our base our vehicle was in a road traffic accident and it rolled over three times," she said.

"When it came to a halt I suddenly realised that the suspect had my weapon and the other soldier's weapon.

"I just looked at him and in that split second I thought 'oh my God, he's going to kill me'.

"But my instinct came in and I thought 'I'll just whack him'.

"It was just a big adrenaline rush and I had to do something."

Ms Hodge has been dubbed Combat Barbie by her colleagues ever since turning up for her army basic training with "two pink suitcases, a pair of pink kitten heels, a pink coat and blonde hair".


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