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Last Updated: Friday, 12 October 2007, 09:21 GMT 10:21 UK
Blast kills bomb disposal expert
Map of Lebanon
Mr Appleby was working clearing cluster bombs in southern Lebanon
A British mine disposal expert has been killed in Lebanon while clearing cluster bombs dropped by Israeli forces during last year's war with Hezbollah.

Former soldier Craig Appleby, 36, from Farnham, Surrey, had been in Lebanon for a month, working for UK-based company ArmorGroup Mine Action.

The firm said Mr Appleby, who had 10 years' bomb disposal experience, died when a bomblet exploded.

It added it was doing all it could for the family in their "hour of need".

Mr Appleby, a battle area clearance team leader, was conducting cluster munitions clearance operations on a site in southern Lebanon.

Adviser and trainer

It is believed he died near Bint Jbeil, close to the Israeli border.

The clearance programme was funded by the United Arab Emirates in support of the UN's Mine Action Co-ordination Centre.

Mr Appleby served in the British Army as a bomb disposal officer and as a mine action instructor to British, Nato and local troops in Bosnia, Kenya, Kosovo and Kuwait.

After leaving the army, he worked as an explosive ordnance disposal adviser and trainer in Saudi Arabia, Libya and Rwanda.

An ArmorGroup spokesman: "Craig was a shining example of those who work in this highly dangerous field, without whom local communities are unable to rebuild their lives safely and confidently following armed conflict.

"Although he had only been with us for a short time, he had already proved himself highly capable, an excellent leader and was well liked and respected by his team.

"On behalf of ArmorGroup, I would like to extend our deepest sympathy to Craig's family at the loss of a fine son, brother and friend."

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