Female bomb disposal expert dies

Friends and colleagues of Captain Lisa Head last night described her breathtaking courage in risking her life to save others, as the Ministry of Defence named the the 29-year-old bomb disposal expert as the latest soldier to be killed in Afghanistan. Captain Head was one of a select number of high-threat bomb disposal officers tasked with dismantling the devices that pose the greatest threat to soldiers in Helmand.

On Monday she was called to the Nahr-e-Saraj district after an IED was found in an alleyway. Having already dismantled the bomb, she was dealing with a second device when it exploded, fatally injuring her. She was flown home to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham where she died a day later.

Friends described her as a down-to-earth, strong-willed Yorkshire lass with a keen wit and sense of fun. Her friend Captain Mike Kennedy said: "Lisa was the bravest and most courageous woman I have ever met. She typified the spirit of the Ammunition Technical Officer, making the long and lonely walk into the face of danger and adversity for the sake of others."

Her colleague, Lance Corporal Michelle Arnott, said: "She never complained and was always raring to go. She was always someone that you could look up to and rely on."

Her family added: "No one was more loved. Lisa always said that she had the best job in the world and she loved every second of it."