'Time to bring troops home'

THE Suffolk mother of a teenager who died in friendly fire in Afghanistan has urged the Government to withdraw troops as the death toll of military personnel in the country reached 102.

Richard Smith

THE Suffolk mother of a teenager who died in friendly fire in Afghanistan has urged the Government to withdraw troops as the death toll of military personnel in the country reached 102.

Lorraine McClure said she was constantly consumed by pain since her 19-year-old son Aaron McClure died in August while he was on patrol.

But Mrs McClure, of Ipswich, said the heartache worsened every time she heard of the death of another soldier.


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She was speaking after five members of Colchester-based 2 Para were killed in just a week while on a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

''My personal view is that it is time the troops should be pulled out, they have done a great job. Five deaths in a week is far too many and the count will go on and on and on for many years until they are pulled out.

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''It is okay for the Government to say we are getting somewhere but in the meantime there are 102 families whose lives have been destroyed.

''The last 10 months since Aaron died have been hell and not a day goes by without thinking what has happened. The pain is constantly there.

''When we hear of the deaths of other lads out there it rips you open and you feel that family's pain. It is heartrending,'' said Mrs McClure.

Pte McClure, of Marlow Road, Ipswich, was killed along with two others aged 19 and 21 from the 1st Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment. They were hit by a bomb dropped by a US aircraft in the Helmand Province. The former pupil of Westbourne High School was due to end his tour of duty the following month.

Mrs McClure said the investigation into his death was still ongoing and therefore it was difficult to try and bring some sort of closure to his death. An inquest will take place after the investigation has finished.

She said: ''The feeling at the moment is that the investigation is drawing to a close and I hope every day for a phone call to say what happened.

''We have still not found out any answers yet and this is frustrating. When we know what happened it will be another step forward.''

The latest soldiers to die were Colchester-based Lance Corporal James Bateman, Private Sean Doherty, Pte Charles Murray, Pte Daniel Gamble and Pte Nathan Cuthbertson.

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