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  • Christina Drummond

Corporal Maheshkumar Islania, Royal Air Force

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1989, Corporal Maheshkumar Islania, Royal Air Force, was killed while in service in Germany.

Known as Mick, he had joined the R.A.F. in 1974, and had been working for two years as a supervisor in the communications centre at R.A.F. Wildenrath. On the day of his death he had been travelling with his wife and baby daughter when they stopped at a petrol station which had a snack bar attached. Mick had just returned to the car after making a purchase and was driving away, when members of the IRA opened fire with automatic weapons. He was hit by multiple rounds and died instantly. His baby daughter, six-month-old Nivruti, was killed when a bullet struck her in the head.

Mick’s wife, Smita, was unhurt, although it was reported initially that she had been severely wounded in the attack; the spokesman for the British Army of the Rhine in Moenchengladbach.reported later that she had been taken to hospital suffering from severe shock. A witness said that she was found her cradling her baby in her arms. "She refused to let it go. She sat wrapped in a blanket just clutching the little child. It was horrific.”

The IRA issued a statement in Dublin saying: ''We profoundly regret the death of the infant of the RAF officer. We are certain that our volunteers were not aware of the child's presence when they opened fire.''

Mick, born in Tanzania, was 34 years old.

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