Soldier's 'friendly fire' inquest

A coroner has called for a statutory inquiry into 'systematic failures' in the way the death of a British soldier killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan was investigated.

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Coroner calls investigation into soldier's death 'unsatisfactory'

A coroner has called for a statutory inquiry into 'systematic failures' in the investigation of the death of a British soldier killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan.

Sapper Mark Anthony Smith from Kent, died in the Helmand province in 2010 after a smoke screen shell fell 264 metres from its target.

The inquest at Old Town Hall in Gravesend heard that the investigation into the death of the 26-year-old suffered from missing evidence and incomplete documentation.

Coroner Roger Hatch said it was "unsatisfactory" and he would be reporting the matter to the Ministry of Defence.

There was no one factor that caused the shortfall, but a "number of possibilities or combination of factors", the coroner said.

Sapper Smith, from 36 Engineer Regiment, was serving with the Counter Improvised Explosive Device task-force when he was caught in the blast.