Soldiers’ return home delayed by fog

A bugler from 2 RIFLES based at Thiepval Barracks, Lisburn
A bugler from 2 RIFLES based at Thiepval Barracks, Lisburn
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Plans to welcome home 200 local soldiers who have been serving in Iraq have had to be put on hold after their plane was unable to land at Aldergrove this afternoon.

The soldiers from the Lisburn-based 2nd Battalion The Rifles (2 RIFLES) are now expected to return home to Northern Ireland tomorrow (Thursday).

Some 200 soldiers from the unit were part of Operation SHADER, the UK’s contribution to the war against the Islamic State and the enduring security of Iraq. They are returning home after a six-month deployment, during which they protected coalition troops and provided training for the Iraqi army and security forces.

An MoD spokesman said the soldiers’ plane had been unable to land due to the thick fog and had been diverted back to RAF Brize Norton.

He said they are now expected to return home to Thiepval Barracks at some stage tomorrow.