Cornwall

Cornwall soldier was clearing route when bomb exploded

L/Cpl Darren Hicks
Image caption Father-of-two L/Cpl Darren Hicks was on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan

A Cornish soldier was killed in an explosion while he was clearing a safe route for his colleagues, an inquest has heard.

L/Cpl Darren Hicks, 29, from Mousehole, was clearing a route in the Babagji region of Helmand province in February.

The father of two stepped on a pressure plate on the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and it detonated.

The coroner at Truro Town Hall recorded that L/Cpl Hicks was unlawfully killed while on active service.

Taliban activity

The inquest heard that the IED had a low metal content which made it difficult to detect.

L/Cpl Darren Hicks and his colleagues from 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards had been heading for a mosque where they had hoped to meet local people to gather intelligence on Taliban activity.

He joined the Army in 1999 and served in Northern Ireland and Iraq before being deployed to Afghanistan for the first time in October 2007.

L/Cpl Hicks returned to Helmand province for a second tour in October 2009.

He had a three-year-old son, Henry, and 10-month-old daughter, Daisy.

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