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US army photographer captured fatal blast that took her life

The US Army has released two photographs that show the moment an accidental mortar tube explosion killed five people in Afghanistan, including an American combat photographer who took one of the images just before her death.

Army Specialist Hilda I. Clayton was photographing a live-fire training exercise on July 2, 2013, in Laghman Province, east of Kabul, when a mortar tube exploded, killing her and four Afghan army soldiers, according to the US army magazine Military Review.

One of the Afghan soldiers killed in the blast was a photojournalist who was training with Clayton, the magazine said in an article posted on its website.

 

It said there has been discussion about the decision to publish the images taken by Clayton and her Afghan counterpart.

 “This edition of the Military Review is focused on promoting the concepts of gender equality and these photographs illustrate the dangers our military men and women face both in training and in combat,” the magazine said.

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