Army dog handler killed in Afghanistan

A British Army dog handler was killed by insurgents in southern Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence said today.

The serviceman, who was part of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, died on patrol in the Sangin area of Helmand Province yesterday.

Another two soldiers were wounded and an explosives sniffer dog was killed in the incident.

Next of kin have been informed, the MoD said.

The dog handler, who was attached to 2nd Battalion the Parachute Regiment, came under enemy fire yesterday evening while on patrol from Forward Operating Base Inkerman.

The Ministry of Defence later updated the number of soldiers wounded in the incident to six - five from 2 Para and one from 3 Para.

One of the casualties suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries and is being airlifted to the UK for further treatment, but the other five are now returning to duties.

Royal Navy Captain Michael Finney, spokesman for the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) in Afghanistan, said: "I would like to offer our sincere condolences to the family and friends of our fallen soldier."

The death takes to 112 the number of British service personnel who have lost their lives in Afghanistan since the start of operations in November 2001.

Army weapons maintenance specialist Corporal Jason Barnes, 25, from Exeter, Devon, was killed by a roadside bomb in Helmand on Tuesday as he drove an ambulance back to base.