Marines' deaths were 'unlawful'

Marines' deaths were 'unlawful'

Neil Dunstan and Robert McKibben died on joint patrol

A coroner has recorded a verdict of unlawful killing into the deaths of two Royal Marines whose vehicle was hit by a Taliban explosive in Afghanistan.

Neil Dunstan, from Bournemouth, Dorset and Robert McKibben, from County Mayo, Ireland, both 32, died when their Jackal was struck in November 2008.

Coroner David Ridley noted helmets would not have saved the men from the roadside explosion in a low risk area.

Their killers will be charged if they are ever caught, the inquest heard.

Both men died in the Garmsir district of southern Helmand Province, which was was not deemed a high risk.

They were were operating as part of Task Force Helmand's Information Exploitation Group.

Both were members of the British Reconnaissance Force serving on Operation Herrick and their vehicle was struck during a routine joint patrol with soldiers from the Afghan National Security Forces.

A member of the Afghan forces also lost his life and a third Royal Marine was seriously injured.

Both marines were from Plymouth-based 3 Commando Brigade.

Marine Dunstan, who was to marry fiancee Kate Miller in 2010, spoke fluent French and had passed a mountain leadership course while Marine McKibben had excelled in an aptitude course for the Special Forces.
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