THE Ministry of Defence covered up the full truth about the destruction of an RAF Hercules aircraft by Iraqi insurgents to stop the enemy claiming a high-profile propaganda victory, a new report discloses.
The C-130J aircraft was struck by two bombs planted by militants as it landed in Maysan Province in Iraq on February 12 last year. All 64 people on board escaped to safety but the Hercules was so badly damaged it had to be destroyed by coalition explosives experts.
At the time the MoD said the aircraft had been involved in an "incident on landing", telling journalists there were no signs of enemy action. But a Board of Inquiry report makes it clear that explosive devices were suspected within an hour of the blasts.