'Friendly fire' killed soldier in Sangin

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The Independent Online

A British soldier killed in an explosion in Afghanistan is believed to have died as a result of "friendly fire".

The serviceman, from 36 Engineer Regiment, was serving with the Counter Improvised Explosive Device taskforce when he died in a blast in the Sangin area of Helmand on Monday.

An MoD spokesman said: "Initial reports suggest that a smokescreen was requested to enable the movement of elements of 36 Engineer Regiment who were operating on the ground in the Sangin area.

"As this was being undertaken, it is believed that one of the smoke shells may have fallen short of its intended target."

Lieutenant-Colonel James Carr-Smith, spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said the serviceman "died seeking to improve the lives of local Afghans. He will be sorely missed by his many friends. His sacrifice will not be forgotten. We will remember him."

The British death toll in the Afghan campaign since 2001 stands at 325.