Anglian soldiers killed by Afghan blasts

TWO Anglian soldiers were killed when their foot patrol was hit by two explosions in Afghanistan, an inquest heard today.

Lance Corporal Scott Hardy, 26, and, Private James Grigg, 21, both of 1st Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment, died in Helmand Province on March 16 this year.

The pair suffered “catastrophic injuries” when the improvised explosive devices (IEDs) went off in an area approximately 13 miles north of Musa Qalah district in Helmand province, the hearing in Trowbridge was told.

L/Cpl Hardy from Chelmsford and Pte Grigg from Stradbrooke, near Eye were on a two-day operation into “a hotbed” of insurgent activity.

Company commander, Major Stuart Smith, said the patrol the men died on was a joint operation with the Afghan National Army and police.

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The inquest heard that the explosions were likely to have been pressure plate devices the soldiers stepped on.

Major Smith said: “It was quite clear that Scott was dead. James was being treated. He had suffered a double amputation and was being treated by our team medics.”

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Major Smith, who described the pair as “great men” said the patrol came under small arms fire immediately after the explosions and several Taliban were killed in the exchange.

The hearing was told that Pte Grigg, who was a keen cricketer and had the nickname Giggles, was talking at first and even winked and showed his tongue to his comrades but then he stopped breathing before the evacuation helicopter arrived.

The area had been swept by metal detectors before the patrol stopped at the site of the blast, the hearing was told.

Wiltshire and Swindon coroner David Ridley recorded verdicts of unlawful killing while on active service.

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