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Red Cap death trap claim.

THE commander of six Red Caps killed by an Iraqi mob has denied they were sent into a volatile "powderkeg".

The Royal Military Police died after they moved in to Al Majar Al Kabir police station on June 24, 2003.

But yesterday, their CO, Colonel Thomas Beckett, denied the men had been set an "impossible and impracticable task". He told an inquest into the deaths that locals were "benign" and had fought Saddam.

Reg Keys, the dad of one victim, said the Army had shown a "lack of duty to care" for his son and the Military Police had been sent into a death trap.

Another dad, Mike Aston, added: "I hope this inquest will put people in the box to be answerable for actions they took that day."

The dead were Corporal Paul Long, 24, Sergeant Simon Hamilton-Jewell, 41, Corporal Russell Aston, 30, Corporal Simon Miller, 21, Lance-Corporal Benjamin Hyde, 23, and Lance- Corporal Thomas Keys, 20.

The inquest continues.

CAPTION(S):

ANGER: Reg, centre, with other Red Cap relatives
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 15, 2006
Words:171
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