British soldier killed on patrol

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The Independent Online

A British soldier was killed after being caught up in an explosion while on patrol in southern Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence said today.

The soldier, from the 2nd Battalion The Rifles, died as a result of the blast near Gereshk in Helmand Province yesterday morning.

A spokesman for Task Force Helmand, Lieutenant Colonel Nick Richardson, said: "We share in the pain that is felt by his family, friends and colleagues at the loss of this courageous soldier. Our thoughts and prayers are with them."

His next of kin has been informed.

The soldier's death brings to 166 the number of British forces who have died in Afghanistan since the start of operations in October 2001.