Marine killed in Afghanistan blast

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A Royal Marine has been killed in a blast in Sangin in southern Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence said today.

The marine, from 40 Commando, died while on a joint foot patrol with Afghan soldiers yesterday evening. His family have been told.

He was the 101st member of UK forces killed in the deadly Sangin area of Helmand Province, which Britain will hand over to the US Marines at the end of this year.

Lieutenant Colonel James Carr-Smith, spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said: "He died a marine, in the course of his duty and whilst improving the lives of local nationals in Sangin.

"His bravery and sacrifice will not be forgotten. We will remember him."

A British soldier from 5th Regiment Royal Artillery was also killed in a blast in Sangin yesterday. He is expected to be named later today.

Nearly a third of the 314 British deaths in Afghanistan since 2001 have happened in Sangin, currently home to the Royal Marines and supporting units of 40 Commando Battle Group.

Defence Secretary Liam Fox confirmed on Wednesday that UK forces would be withdrawn from the district in the autumn.

A US Marines battle group will be moved from Nimruz Province to take control of the area.

The handover will leave the British military effort concentrated in central Helmand, which covers a relatively small area but is home to a third of the province's population.