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Campaign backing RAF Lossie gunners grows

Campaign backing RAF Lossie gunners grows

A campaign has been set up to back the RAF Lossiemouth personnel suspended from duties after a photo of a dead Taliban fighter appeared online.

Military investigations are currently ongoing into the “trophy” photo, which was taken in the aftermath of a deadly attack in 2011 on Camp Bastion in Afghansitan

However, 10,500 people have already backed a Facebook campaign calling for charges to be dropped against two members of 51 Squadron.

John Divers, who sits on Moray Council, was in the Armed Forces in the 1960s and 70s, stated agreed with the campaign.

He said: “I don’t think anyone can say that taking the photos was the right thing to do.

“However, these lads had just come through a five-hour gun battle in which many people died.

“The adrenaline was running and they must have been relieved to still be alive. The people who had been trying to kill them had been killed.

“Hand on heart, I couldn’t say how I would have acted in a similar situation when I was younger – and I don’t think many other people can either.

“A few people have equated them with those horrible pictures of the mistreated prisoners of war in Iraq, but I think that’s nonsense.”

The photos which recently surfaced online show at least one member of 51 Squadron giving the “thumbs up” sign while standing beside the corpse of a dead Taliban fighter.

They were taken in the aftermath of an assault on Camp Bastion which left two US Marines dead and a number of British troops injured. Six Harrier jets were also destroyed in the suicide attack.

Several troops from the RAF Lossiemouth base were praised for their courage during the action in which 14 insurgents were killed.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman stated yesterday that a military investigation into the circumstances in which the photos were taken was still ongoing.

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