Bomb kills two soldiers in Helmand

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The Independent Online

Two British soldiers from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers were killed in an explosion while on patrol in Afghanistan yesterday. The men were attached to Jackal Squadron, 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards, based in the area around the Helmand river in the south of the country.

They were travelling in a Jackal off-road armoured vehicle when they were caught in the blast in the Garmsir district of Helmand province. Their families have been informed, the Ministry of Defence said. Members of the Jackal Squadron have been working to prevent Taliban insurgents from smuggling arms into the country over the Pakistan border using routes across the desert. Reconnaissance missions lasting days at a time are undertaken in heavily-armoured open-top vehicles.

A year ago, the district centre of Garmsir saw fierce fighting, but is now seen as a relative success for the British as the conflict has subsided enough for people displaced by the battles to begin returning home.

A member of 2nd Battalion, Royal Welsh Regiment, who was killed in an explosion while on patrol in the Musa Qala area of northern Helmand on Saturday was named yesterday as Lance Corporal Christopher Harkett, 22, of Pontardawe, Swansea.

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