Soldier in Afghanistan was killed in rescue mission

 

A British soldier killed yesterday in Afghanistan died taking part in a daring rescue mission.

The soldier, who has not yet been named but was from 3rd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment, was with a task force fighting to save policeman Abdul Walid.

Officials said armed insurgents kidnapped Mr Walid at a police checkpoint in Payan village, in the Nar-e-Seraj district of Helmand province on Sunday night.

British troops with colleagues from ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) laid siege to the area and recovered Mr Walid.

But the soldier, whose next of kin have been informed, was killed by small arms fire and another British soldier was injured.

The insurgents escaped from the area but ISAF forces captured one mobile phone, some of the insurgents' documents and explosives.

Gulab Mangal, governor of Helmand province, applauded the British forces for their bravery.

His officials issued a statement saying: "Helmand governor praises the sacrifices and bravery of the British forces that they rescued an Afghan police officer and sacrificed own selves.

"Helmand governor and the local residents of Helmand will never forget such a sacrifices of the British forces and offer own sympathy to the British Government for the death and injury of the British soldiers."

Lieutenant Colonel John Kerner, spokesman for British Forces Helmand, said the soldier's death would be felt acutely in the war zone.

He said: "His loss will be felt by everyone across Task Force Helmand and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time."

The soldier became the 417th member of UK forces to have died since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001.

The death came on the same day a British soldier from 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh, who was killed in Afghanistan on Friday, was named by the Ministry of Defence as Corporal Michael John Thacker.

PA

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