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Last Updated: Friday, 25 January 2008, 11:40 GMT
Soldier killed by friendly fire
Pte Cutts
Pte Cutts was taking part in Operation Snakebite when he died
A British soldier was probably killed by "friendly fire" in Afghanistan, a coroner in Oxfordshire has ruled.

Private Andrew Cutts' inquest was halted last September when evidence first emerged that he might have been shot by a colleague.

The Ministry of Defence said after the death that Pte Cutts had been "killed in action".

The 19-year-old, from Blidworth, Nottinghamshire, died in Helmand province on 6 August 2006.

Head injury

He was delivering supplies to Danish troops in the area when he was shot in the head.

Pte Cutts joined the army with his twin brother James after leaving school.

Colleagues told the inquest that Pte Cutts, of 13 Air Assault Support Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps, was struck from behind as he faced an area where Taleban forces were suspected to be.

The shots seemed to come from an area patrolled by the 3rd Battalion Parachute Regiment, the inquest in Oxford was told at the earlier hearing.

Captain Tariq Ahmad, a doctor who examined Pte Cutts shortly afterwards and certified him dead, said he had mistaken a bullet hole over the soldier's eye for an entry wound, when in fact it was an exit wound.

Assistant deputy coroner for Oxfordshire, Andrew Walker, halted the inquest for the Royal Military Police to get further statements from the soldiers of 3 Para.

Recording a narrative verdict, the coroner said: "Pte Cutts was part of a convoy that came under fire as the convoy crossed an open area, having left a patrol base in Musa Qa'leh district centre.

"The fatal shot was more likely than not fired from a position to the rear of Pte Cutts where friendly forces were stationed."

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