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September 20, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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A Fijian British soldier who did not know she was pregnant has given birth on the frontline while serving in war-torn Afghanistan.

According to Britain's Daily Mail newspaper, the woman had a son in Camp Bastion on Tuesday – just days after the Taliban launched a deadly attack on the UK’s main base in Afghanistan.

The baby was born five weeks premature and both mother and child were said to be doing well.

The Fijian soldier had passed her tough pre-deployment training, which included a grueling eight-mile march and five-mile run, without inkling that she was pregnant.

A senior Army insider said: ‘It is bizarre that she didn’t feel some side effects of the pregnancy. She is obviously pretty fit and strong. The strains and demands on soldiers working on the frontline make it surprising she didn’t realize.

The birth has stunned military chiefs and led to calls for extra medical checks on women who are sent to the war zone.

The soldier, a gunner in the Royal Artillery who helped provide covering fire for troops fighting insurgents, was unaware that she was carrying a child.

She had been deployed with the 12th Mechanised Brigade since March, but two days ago complained of severe stomach pains.

To her astonishment, medics informed her that she was about to give birth.

She was in the 34th week of her pregnancy, meaning she conceived before flying to Afghanistan for her six-month tour of duty.

Lieutenant Colonel Andrea Lewis, commanding officer of the field hospital, said this is a unique occurrence and is pleased to report the mother and baby are doing well and we are all delighted at the outcome.

By Ropate Valemei



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