Soldier died helping wounded comrade

A coroner praised the devotion to duty of paratroopers serving in Afghanistan after hearing how three improvised explosive devices (IEDs) went off in succession.

The acting Bradford coroner, Professor Paul Marks, was commenting at the inquest into the death of Pte Martin Bell, 24, from 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, who was fatally wounded by the blast near Nahr-e-Saraj in Helmand province on 25 January.

Professor Marks heard how Pte Bell was sent out after another soldier was seriously injured by an IED. A second IED went off, blowing the legs off the man next to him. Pte Bell rushed to his comrade's aid, and was himself killed by a third blast.

Professor Marks recorded a verdict of unlawful killing.