Teenage soldier dies in accident

A TEENAGE paratrooper based at Colchester has died in what is believed to be a shooting accident while serving in Iraq.An investigation is under way into the death of 18-year-old paratrooper Andrew Kelly who had fulfilled a boyhood dream of becoming a Para.

A TEENAGE paratrooper based at Colchester has died in what is believed to be a shooting accident while serving in Iraq.

An investigation is under way into the death of 18-year-old paratrooper Andrew Kelly who had fulfilled a boyhood dream of becoming a Para.

It is understood that Private Kelly was in barracks when the incident happened.

His family live near Tavistock, Devon, said a Ministry of Defence spokesman.


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Pte Kelly was with the Colchester-based 3rd Parachute Regiment and at the time of his death on Tuesday was based in Basra, southern Iraq.

He went to the Gulf on March 14, five days after his 18th birthday, the age at which he was able to go into conflict.

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Pte Kelly's mother, Helen Yallop, said in a statement: "Andrew's loss is deeply felt by all the family.

"We are devastated. He was a wonderful, fearless, confident son, always well mannered, who even as a boy desired only to be a Para.

"In his last call to me just days ago he said 'Don't worry about me, mum, Paras always go to heaven'," she said.

Mrs Yallop said her son always carried with him a poem about the Paras, entitled The Maroon Machine.

Pte Kelly was the 34th UK soldier to die in the current conflict.

The MoD spokesman said the Paratroopers, who helped take Basra, were now seeking to restore humanitarian and civil obedience with the community.

Last night, a spokeswoman for the Army at Colchester Garrison said: "We are terribly sad. The thoughts of everyone at the unit will be with Pte Kelly's family at this sad time."

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