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Inquest into soldiers' SAS training deaths to start

An inquest into the deaths of three Army reservists who collapsed during an SAS training exercise in 2013 is due to begin today.

Lance Corporal Edward Maher, Lance Corporal Craig Roberts and Corporal James Dunsby died after taking part in the military exercise on Pen Y Fan in the Brecon Beacons, in Wales.

Lance Corporal Edward Maher, Corporal James Dunsby and Lance Corporal Craig Roberts. Credit: MoD/ Joe Giddens/PA Wire

L/Cpl Roberts, 24 and from Penrhyn Bay, Conwy, was pronounced dead on the mountainside, while L/Cpl Maher and Cpl Dunsby, both 31, were taken to hospital.

L/Cpl Maher died three hours later in Merthyr Tydfil's Prince Charles Hospital while Cpl Dunsby, from Bath, Somerset, was transferred to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, where he died on July 30.

The hearing was delayed to allow the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to review its decision not to bring criminal charges of gross negligence manslaughter over the deaths.

A number of other soldiers taking part in the exercise on July 13, when temperatures hit 29C (84F), also collapsed and needed medical attention.

Ex-soldier feels 'betrayed' by army, full report

A former lieutenant-colonel from Derbyshire has told ITV News Central that he feels betrayed by the army.

Stewart Hill who was serving with the mercian regiment was injured in an explosion in Afghanistan in 2009.

He says the support he received afterwards was not good enough. He has now turned to painting to help with his recovery.

Michael Sibert reports.

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MoD: 'Care of injured personnel is a top priority'

A former lieutenant-colonel from Nottingham says he feels betrayed by the army and has turned to painting to help in his recovery.

Stewart Hill suffered a serious brain injury whilst commanding 160 soldiers in Afghanistan in 2009.

The Ministry of Defence said the care of injured personnel is a 'top priorty'.

Although we are unable to comment in detail on specific cases, I would like to reassure you that the care of our wounded, injured and sick personnel is a top priority.

Although too late to assist Lieutenant Colonel Hill, the Army Recovery Capability was launched in February 2010 as a joint venture between the Ministry of Defence, Help for Heroes and The Royal British Legion.

The Army Recovery Capability represents a multi-million pound commitment by the Ministry of Defence and the Service charities to deliver co-ordinated support to wounded, injured and sick service personnel.

There may be occasions when a service person is not happy with something in their service life and the Service Complaints system addresses such issues.

If a service person considers they have been wronged or treated unfairly in relation to their Army service, they may submit a service complaint. Every Service Complaint is considered in line with current regulations.

– Ministry of Defence statement

Former soldier feels betrayed by the army

A former lieutenant-colonel from Nottingham has told ITV News Central that he feels betrayed by the army and has turned to painting to help in his recovery.

Stewart Hill suffered a serious brain injury whilst commanding 160 soldiers in Afghanistan in 2009.

He says the support he received from the MOD wasn't good enough.

Stewart Hill was serving in Afghanistan when he suffered a serious brain injury Credit: Stewart Hill

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Hundreds start drone protest march to RAF Waddington

Crowds of peace campaigners gather in Lincoln for start of anti-drone protest march Credit: ITV Central

Hundreds of peace campaigners have started marching from Lincoln to RAF Waddington, in protest of a new fleet of armed drones being based in the UK for the first time.

Protesters preparing their banners before the march takes place Credit: ITV Central

The RAF began remotely operating its Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles earlier this week from the airbase in Lincolnshire.

Previously operated from a United States Air Force base in Nevada, the aircraft are used to support coalition ground forces in Afghanistan.

Banners are laid out at South Park in Lincoln before the march takes place Credit: ITV Central

Members of the Stop The War Coalition, CND, The Drone Campaign Network and War on Want are estimated to walk the four mile route in around two hours.

It's expected to take the protesters two hours to walk the four mile route from Lincoln to RAF WAddington. Credit: ITV Central
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War protester: 'Now is the time to ban killer drones'

Ahead of a planned protest outside an RAF base today against the UK's use of armed drones in Afghanistan, War on Want senior campaigns officer Rafeef Ziadah said:

Drones, controlled far away from conflict zones, ease politicians' decisions to launch military strikes and order extrajudicial assassinations, without democratic oversight or accountability to the public.

"Now is the time to ban killer drones - before it is too late.

  1. National

MoD defends its use of drones in Afghanistan

The Ministry of Defence has defended its use of drones in Afghanistan, which it says have saved the lives of countless military personnel and civilians.

UK Reaper aircraft are piloted by highly trained professional military pilots who adhere strictly to the same laws of armed conflict and are bound by the same clearly defined rules of engagement which apply to traditionally manned RAF aircraft.

– Ministry of Defence spokesman
  1. National

Anti-drones protest set to be staged at RAF base

Anti-war protesters are set to gather outside an RAF base today to voice their opposition to the UK's use of armed drones in Afghanistan.

Members of the Stop The War Coalition, CND, The Drone Campaign Network and War on Want will march from Lincoln to nearby RAF Waddington.

An RAF MQ-9 Reaper Credit: MOD

The RAF began remotely operating its Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles deployed to Afghanistan from the Lincolnshire airbase earlier this week.

In a statement, the RAF said it had started supporting the International Security Assistance Force and Afghan ground troops with "armed intelligence and surveillance missions" remotely piloted from RAF Waddington.

The aircraft were previously operated from a United States Air Force base in Nevada.

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