British soldier killed in Afghan blast

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The Independent Online

A British soldier has been killed in an explosion in Afghanistan.

The soldier, from the 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment, was killed in an explosion in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province yesterday.

The blast took place while the soldier was on security patrol. His family has been told, the Ministry of Defence said.

The British death toll since operations in Afghanistan began in 2001 now stands at 295.

Task Force Helmand spokesman Lieutenant Colonel James Carr-Smith said yesterday: "It is my sad duty to inform you that a soldier from 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment, part of 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles Battle Group, was killed this afternoon in southern Nahr-e Saraj, Helmand province.

"He was part of a team that was improving the security around one of the military checkpoints when he was struck by an explosion.

"Selfless to the end, he will be missed by his many friends. His sacrifice will not be forgotten."

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