British brave minefield to recover their dead (Extract)
Published by the "Independent" on 30 January 1996
Written by Christopher Bellamy
British troops yesterday carved a path through a minefield to recover the bodies of three British soldiers killed when their Spartan armoured troop carrier was blown up by a mine in Central Bosnia on Sunday.
The dead soldiers were named as Lieutenant Richard Madden, 25, single, from Somerset, Trooper Andrew Ovington, 25, married, from Peterlee, and Trooper John Kelly, 21, single, from Sunderland. They were from the Light Dragoons, an armoured reconnaissance regiment for the British 4th armoured brigade, at Sipovo.
The Spartan was leading a patrol of two vehicles in the desolate area known as the Anvil, which the British are securing before it is handed back to the Bosnian Serbs under the Dayton peace agreement.
At 2.10pm local time, the Spartan hit a mine 20km west of Mrkonjic Grad. It was not possible to reach the destroyed vehicle over the rough roads until dark. The army postponed further attempts until yesterday morning. It took all day to immobilise other mines and clear a way to the bodies.
The Spartan is a light, tracked armoured vehicle able to carry a command team of four people as well as its crew of three. The anti-tank mines used in Bosnia are designed to destroy much heavier main battle tanks, and contain about 5kg of high explosive.