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Army dog awarded posthumous VC

A GERMAN SHEPHERD Dog that disarmed a gunman and held rioters at bay in separate incidents while serving with the British Army in Bosnia-Herzegovina is to be posthumously awarded the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross.

The courage of ‘Sam’ will be recognised when the dog’s handler, Sgt Ian Carnegie, is presented with the PDSA’s Dickin Medal on Sam’s behalf at a ceremony next month.

Sam, who died of natural causes aged 10 two years ago, helped Sgt Carnegie to defuse two flashpoints in 1998 while serving with the Royal Army Veterinary Corps Dog Unit.

In the first incident, a volley of shots rang out as the 1st Battalion The Royal Canadian Regiment patrolled Drvar. Troops saw a gunman run into a bar.

In the medal citation, Sgt Carnegie said: "After a chase Sam brought down the suspect and I disarmed him, retrieving a loaded pistol." Six days later, again in Drvar, a mob was besieging a compound where Serbs were taking refuge.

Sgt Carnegie said: "By threatening the mob with our pistols and dogs we forced our way into the compound. We kept the rioters at bay until reinforcements arrived."