Afghanistan: two British soldiers killed in Musa Qala explosion

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Two British soldiers were killed in an explosion while on an operation in the Musa Qala area of Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan yesterday morning.

The men, one from the Parachute Regiment and the other from the Light Dragoons, were serving with the Brigade Reconnaissance Force. Their families have been informed, the Ministry of Defence said. Their deaths bring the number of British military personnel killed in Afghanistan since operations began in 2001 to 165.

Britain has more than 8,000 troops in Afghanistan, most of them based in the desert province of Helmand, which remains a heartland of Taliban-led insurgency.

Lt-Col Nick Richardson, a spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said: "We feel a numbness at the loss of these brave and noble soldiers who laid down their lives for their country and the people of Afghanistan... They will always be in our thoughts and prayers."

Captain Mark Durkin, Royal Navy, a spokesman for ISAF (International Security Assistance Force), said: "Our hearts go out to the family and friends of these courageous service members... We pay tribute to the sacrifice of these brave warriors."