Unlawful killing: coroner attacks army inadequacies over blast that killed four
10 March 2010
In a recent military case, an inquest was concluded into the events surrounding the death of four soldiers who were killed unlawfully in a Snatch Land Rover in Afghanistan. Our expert solicitor at Russell Jones & Walker represented the families of two of the deceased soldiers. The four soldiers were serving with the army in Helmand Province in Afghanistan when the Snatch Land Rover they were travelling in was struck by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). The soldiers died from blast wounds and blunt injuries. The inquest heard how the soldiers were an easy target for enemy forces, as they were made to travel in Snatch Land Rover vehicles which can only cross the terrain on designated tracks, a fact which the Taliban knew well. Other vehicles, which may have allowed them to avoid the IEDs that killed them, were not made available. In addition to this members of the unit had limited training in the life-saving drills that would allow them to detect the IEDs that would inevitably be planted in their path. The evidence showed that there was an inexplicable shortage of the metal detectors that were required to detect IEDs. The case highlighted that the lack of suitable vehicles, the shortage of metal detectors and the limited training in the use of metal detectors, increased the risks for these soldiers and as a result contributed to their death. It is hoped by the families of the soldiers that the lack of resources and shortcomings in training and planning which has been exposed in this case will not be repeated in the future. For further information view our press release. This case has featured on Times Online, The Independent and The Sun.