Soldier killed in Afghanistan firefight named

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The Independent Online

The latest British soldier to be killed in Afghanistan was named today as Corporal Bryan Budd.

The 29-year-old soldier, from 3 Para regiment, was involved in a firefight with against the Taliban in Sangin, in the northern part of Helmand province yesterday. He was on a routine patrol near the district centre in the town when he died, the Ministry of Defence said.

Cpl Budd, from Ripon, was married to Lorena and was father to two-year-old Isabelle. Mrs Budd is expecting the couple's second child in September and the soldier's "keenest passion" was said to be his wife and daughter.

An MoD spokesman said Cpl Budd, who was softly spoken and a calm character, was "incredibly proud" of his family. He was described as a shining example to those under his command, with great courage and a quick sense of humour.

Cpl Budd, who had been in the Army for 10 years, enlisted with the Parachute Regiment before joining the elite 16 Air Assault Brigade's Pathfinder Platoon. He had served in Yugoslavia, Sierra Leone, Macedonia, Afghanistan and Iraq and was about to be promoted to platoon sergeant.

His commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Tootal, said he had been a natural leader. "Cpl Bryan Budd was an outstanding young man who had quickly risen through the ranks in the regiment.

"Extremely popular, he had a calm and professional manner that inspired confidence in all that worked with him - a natural leader. Bryan died doing the job he loved, leading his men from the front - where he always was. Bryan was proud to call himself a paratrooper and we were proud to stand beside him."

Lt Col Tootal went on: "One of the very best in all respects, he will be sadly missed by all his comrades in 3 Para and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time."

The 3rd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, is based at Colchester Garrison in Essex. Earlier, Defence Secretary Des Browne offered his condolences to the family and friends of Cpl Budd.

Three other British soldiers received minor injuries in the incident which happened at around midday local time yesterday.

Cpl Budd's death brings the number of British forces personnel who have died in Afghanistan since the start of operations in November 2001 to 20.

He is the latest victim of persistent attacks on British troops who are in Afghanistan to help rebuilding and to tackle terrorism and heroin cultivation. They were serving as part of a multinational Nato force in the lawless south of the country.

Earlier this month British General Lieutenant-General David Richards assumed command of the 8,000-strong Nato force which is made up largely of British, Canadian and Dutch troops, as well as some US personnel.