British soldier shot dead in southern Afghanistan

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The Ministry of Defence says a soldier has been shot dead in the Nad-e Ali district of southern Afghanistan's Helmand province.

The soldier, from the Queen's Gurkha Engineers serving with 21 Engineer Regiment, died in a firefight on Friday, the ministry said on Saturday.

Lt Col David Southall, spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said the serviceman had been working as a part of a sapper — or combat engineering — team.

The soldier was not identified by name, but his family has been informed of his death.

Britain has about 10,000 troops in Afghanistan. A total of 331 British forces and ministry civilians have died in operations in Afghanistan since 2001.