Six British soldiers have been picked off on the streets of Basra by an enemy sniper using the same rifle, an inquest heard today.
Between the months of March and June last year, six soldiers were shot using high velocity bullets fired from exactly the same gun.
The revelation, which was attested by forensics experts, raises the possibility of a single super-marksman stalking British troops on the streets of the southern Iraqi city.
Rifleman Aaron Lincoln, 18, of the 2nd Battalion, The Rifles, was one of the victims. His inquest in Spennymoor, County Durham, today heard that he was killed in April 2007 by a single bullet to the head that smashed through his protective glasses and helmet.
Ann Kiernan of LGC Forensics told the court that it had been fired from the same gun than had killed several other soldiers in the Basra area last year.
"There had been six incidents from March to June where projectiles have all been discharged from the same rifle," she said.