Soldier killed in Afghanistan is named

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The Independent Online

A British soldier killed in southern Afghanistan was described yesterday as an "inspired leader".

Major Sean Birchall, 33, of 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, died in an explosion while on patrol near Lashkar Gah in central Helmand province on Friday.

His wife Joanna said he was a "wonderful husband" and "devoted father" to 18-month-old son Charlie.

His death takes the number of British service personnel who have died in Afghanistan since October 2001 to 169. His commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Thornloe, praised his leadership.