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L/Cpl Scott Hetherington: UK soldier died 'in shooting accident'

Lance Corporal Scott Hetherington Image copyright MoD
Image caption L/Cpl Scott Hetherington is the first British soldier to die in Iraq in almost eight years

A UK soldier's death in Iraq was the result of an accidental shooting, the BBC understands.

L/Cpl Scott Hetherington, 22, died at Camp Taji, north of Baghdad, on Monday.

L/Cpl Hetherington, from Middleton, Greater Manchester, had only recently become a father to a daughter, the Ministry of Defence said.

He served as a vehicle commander with the 2nd Battalion, Duke of Lancaster's Regiment.

The soldier, who was nicknamed "Snowball", had only been in Iraq for a month when he died.

Friends hailed him as a "true hero" and a "brave lion" on Facebook.

His commanding officer Lt Col Rob Singleton said: "L/Cpl Scott Hetherington was a superb soldier and a first-class leader.

'Huge talent'

"Utterly professional and talented, he was full of character, fun and his enthusiasm was infectious.

"The battalion has lost a huge talent and a real character. He will be missed dearly and we will never forget him.

"Our hearts go out to his parents, his siblings, his girlfriend and his young daughter.

"They are in all of our thoughts."

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption An Iraqi soldier trains at Camp Taji where L/Cpl Hetherington died

L/Cpl Hetherington was a member of Blenheim Company and was a vehicle commander in the Force Protection Platoon.

His regiment was based at Weeton Barracks near Blackpool.

He is the first UK soldier to die in Iraq in almost eight years.

The British army is in Iraq as part of the UK's effort to combat so-called Islamic State militants.

About 150 soldiers from the battalion are being deployed to Iraq for six months.

They form part of a 500-strong Army force being sent to train Iraqi and Kurdish security forces.

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