MARINE SHOT IN 'FRIENDLY FIRE'
Date : 10.11.04
A Royal Marine from Taunton's 49 Commando was rushed to a military hospital in Iraq - after being shot by American troops.
The Captain, who has not been named, was shot in the leg after panic-stricken US soldiers raked the military convoy he was travelling in with bullets.
The American soldiers were by a broken down Humvee jeep and opened fire when they mistook the patrol of Royal Marines for terrorists.
Uniformed British soldiers were in two civilian Land Rover Discoveries clearly marked with the words British Forces when US troops began shooting.
Machine gun fire hit the front and back of one of the Land Rovers as it passed the Humvee.
The gun fire only stopped when a brave Royal Marine jumped from one of the vehicles and screamed at US troops to stop shooting.
The Marines were on a routine patrol close to their headquarters at Shaibah Logistics Base, south west of Basra.
Major Spike Kelly, spokesman for 49 Commando, said the Captain was treated in a British field hospital for a flesh wound to the leg and returned to duty the next day.
Major Kelly said: "He sustained very minor injuries to his leg. The Americans stopped firing as soon as a Royal Marine jumped out of the vehicle."
He added: "There are a large number of personnel moving at night for tactical reasons and sadly sometimes communication breaks down."
Military chiefs immediately ordered an investigation into the incident, which is thought to be among the most serious 'friendly fire' attacks since the war officially ended.