Second helicopter crash victim named

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The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has released the identity of the second British serviceman killed in Iraq on Sunday.

Sergeant Mark McLaren of 230 Squadron in the Royal Air Force died when two Puma helicopters crashed north of Baghdad in what is believed to have been an accidental collision. Colour Sergeant Mark Powell, 37, whose identity was released yesterday, also died in the same crash.

The MoD did not realise the identities simultaneously because of difficulties contacting close members of Sgt McLaren's family.

His commanding officer, Wing Commander Chris Hunter, described the 27-year-old father-of-two was described as a "master of his trade"

"When flying on operations in either the UK or Iraq he always performed at the top of his game and it was a pleasure to fly with him when you were crewed up together," he said.

"He loved life and was a caring husband and father who had a bright future ahead of him in the service."

British forces have now lost 142 service personnel in Iraq since the 2003 invasion of the troubled Middle Eastern country.

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