Commander blamed in friendly fire deaths

July 13, 2007 at 12:52 PM
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LONDON, July 13 (UPI) -- Britain's Ministry of Defense is considering further action against a senior Scottish army officer believed responsible for the deaths of two British soldiers.

British army Cpl. Stephen Allbutt and Trooper David Clark were killed in Iraq in 2003 when Black Watch troops under the command of Lt. Col. Lindsay MacDuff opened fire on British tanks from the Queen's Royal Lancers, The Scotsman reported Friday.

A coroner in England ruled that the men under MacDuff's command who fired weren't warned about the presence of the Royal Lancers and weren't told about an alteration in the firing boundaries of the area near Basra that they were patrolling, The Scotsman report said.

MacDuff testified his decision not to tell his men about the boundary change was "potentially a serious failure."

The incident took place during the first week of the Iraq war.

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