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Bodies of Welsh servicemen killed in Afghanistan crash repatriated to UK

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: May 06, 2014

Lance Corporal Oliver Thomas, from Brecon, and Captain Thomas Clarke, from Cowbridge.

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THE bodies of two Welsh servicemen who died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan have arrived back in Britain.

Captain Thomas Clarke, aged 30, from Cowbridge, who served with the Army Air Corps, and 26-year-old Lance Corporal Oliver Thomas from Brecon, who served with 3 Military Intelligence Battalion, were killed along with three other military personnel when their Lynx helicopter came down in the Kandahar province, 30 miles from the Pakistan border, last month.

The soldiers’ bodies were repatriated to RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire at lunchtime, and private family ceremonies took place at the airbase.

The helicopter in which the men were killed is believed to have been from the Army Air Corps’ 657 Squadron, an elite unit that provides support and transport for special forces soldiers.

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The Ministry of Defence has denied claims by the Taliban that insurgents shot the helicopter down, saying that an initial investigation pointed to a “tragic accident”.

The deaths bring the number of British forces personnel killed in the conflict in Afghanistan to 453.

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