Powerful images of US soldier's final moment released (GRAPHIC PHOTOS)

Powerful images of US soldier's final moment released  (GRAPHIC PHOTOS)
The US Army has released astounding photos taken by an internal photographer as she lost her life in an accidental explosion during live fire exercise in Afghanistan in 2013.

Hilda Clayton and four Afghan soldiers, including a training Afghan photographer, were killed during the exercise in Qaraghahi, eastern Afghanistan.

The accident took place during mortar operations certification training for the local troops.

It was the first death of an Army combat photographer in Afghanistan.

“Not only did Clayton help document activities aimed at shaping and strengthening the partnership, but she also shared in the risk by participating in the effort,” an article accompanying the photographs reads.

Clayton’s family and unit have reportedly approved of the release of the photos, an official from the Army University Press said, according to The Army Times.

Her unit has also named its annual photography contest the SPC Hilda I. Clayton Best Combat Camera (COMCAM) Competition in her honor.

The photos were published in the latest edition of the Army’s Military Review journal.

There have been ethical questions raised about the publication of Specialist Clayton’s final moments, to which the Army University Press responded: “There has been discussion about Military Review’s decision to publish the photographs taken by Spc. Hilda I. Clayton and her Afghan National Army counterpart."

"This edition of the Military Review is focused on promoting the concepts of gender equality and these photographs illustrate the dangers our military men and women face both in training and in combat.”