MoD identifies British soldier killed during non-combat related shooting in Iraq

A British soldier killed in Iraq is believed to have been shot after an accidental discharge of a weapon by another member of the UK force at the Taji base, north of Baghdad.

The Ministry of Defence named the dead soldier as L/Cpl Scott Hetherington, 22, of 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment. It has launched an investigation into his death.

The UK has a contingent based at Taji training the Iraqi army for combat against Islamic State. Hetherington, from Manchester and who was nicknamed Snowball, was vehicle commander of a platoon providing protection for the UK trainers.

Lt Col Rob Singleton, the commanding officer of 2nd Battalion, said: “L/Cpl Scott Hetherington was a superb soldier and a first-class leader. Utterly professional and talented, he was full of character, fun, and his enthusiasm was infectious.”

The death comes after the MoD had been quietly expressing thanks to the military for getting through 2016 without any deaths to its personnel in combat zones.

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