Dead soldier’s mother slams ‘senseless’ Afghan war

The firing party at the funeral of Highlander Scott McLaren, rifleman in D Company, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (4 SCOTS), held at Mortonhall Crematorium. Pic: Jane Barlow

The firing party at the funeral of Highlander Scott McLaren, rifleman in D Company, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (4 SCOTS), held at Mortonhall Crematorium. Pic: Jane Barlow

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The heartbroken mother of a Scots soldier killed only two months after flying out to Afghanistan has condemned the war as “a senseless conflict”.

Ann McLaren, from Edinburgh, insisted her son Scott had died in vain.

Her comments come as British troops are set to pull out of Afghanistan after a 13-year conflict which has killed 452 servicemen and women and cost at least £37 billion.

She said: “What did we achieve? Nothing. It was all a waste of time. Scott would be here today if it hadn’t been for Afghanistan.”

Scott, 20, who was serving with the Highlanders, 4th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland, was killed by Taliban fighters after he disappeared from a checkpoint in Helmand in 2011.

An inquest into his death found he had been shot and his body dumped in a stream.

Commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Alastair Aitken said Scott had been a man with a “heart of gold”.