Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Second 'Friendly Fire' Death in Afghanistan

A UK soldier has died following the second suspected "friendly fire" incident in two days in Afghanistan, as the MoD named the first serviceman killed.

The soldier's family have been informed. He was serving with 3rd Battalion The Rifles.

He died of his wounds following an incident in the Sangin area of Helmand on Monday.

His death follows that of Lance Corporal Michael David Pritchard of the 4th Regiment, Royal Military Police, who died following another suspected friendly fire incident the day before.

The 22-year-old, who was known as "Pritch", was described by his family as a "lover of life" who would always be in their hearts.

The Ministry of Defence said the possibility that he was killed by friendly fire was being investigated in Afghanistan but that no firm conclusion would be reached until the coroner's inquest.

he British death toll since the start of operations in Afghanistan in 2001 now stands at 241, including 104 deaths this year.

In a statement his family said: "With great sadness we say goodbye to our beloved son, a lover of life who has lived life to the full and has brought great joy to all those who are lucky enough to know him.

"A light that shines brightly, our precious son, brother, grandson, boyfriend and special friend to all, we are very proud of you in all that you have done and achieved and you will always be in our hearts now and evermore.

"God bless our darling boy from all of your family and friends."

L/Cpl Pritchard was born in Maidstone, Kent on January 11, 1987, but lived in Eastbourne, East Sussex, from the age of one and went to school there.

After leaving school and college, he enlisted into the Adjutant General's Corps (Royal Military Police) in July 2007 before being posted to 160 Provost Company, 4th Regiment Royal Military Police, in Aldershot as a General Police Duties Junior Non-Commissioned Officer.

He deployed to Kenya as part of the training for Operation Herrick 11.

He arrived in Afghanistan in October attached to 4th Battalion The Rifles.

Lieutenant Colonel Debbie Poneskis, Commanding Officer, 4th Regiment, Royal Military Police said: "Lance Corporal Pritchard had only been in the Royal Military Police since July 2007 but he very quickly made a huge impact on all of us.

"It is tragic that we have been robbed of such a promising Junior Non-Commissioned Officer and one who was everything you would want in a Military Policeman.

"He was a professional and robust soldier and one who was both physically and morally courageous. He was absolutely committed to providing policing advice where it mattered most, alongside his Infantry colleagues on patrol and as part of the team."



No comments:

Post a Comment