Britain's Ministry of Defense has agreed to pay $4 million in compensation to an Iraqi boy accidentally shot by a British soldier, the Guardian reports. The boy, now 17, is paralyzed from severe spinal injuries inflicted when the soldier dropped his rifle at a Basra base in 2003. He is receiving round-the-clock care in Britain and will never be able to return to Iraq.
The payment is much higher than any awarded to any injured British soldier. The large amount is due to the level of negligence involved, said a government spokesman, who stressed that it was unlikely to set a precedent. "This is an isolated claim for negligence from a young boy who will require specialist care for the rest of his life," he said.