Soldier killed in roadside bomb blast

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The Independent Online

A soldier serving in Afghanistan with the Light Dragoons was killed by a roadside bomb yesterday, as the Taliban announced that it intended to target Prince Harry for assassination or kidnap.

The as-yet unnamed serviceman, whose death was the 427th UK fatality in the country since the conflict began in 2001, died after his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand Province yesterday morning. His next of kin have been informed.

Later senior Taliban commanders reacted with glee at having the opportunity to target Prince Harry, saying they will make killing or kidnapping him a "priority".

"It's good news for us as we are always in search for such precious birds," Maulvi Ahmadullah Ahmadyar told Channel 4 News. "Our priority will be to kidnap him at any cost as we have our informers at the military base being used by the British troops here in Helmand."

Another Taliban commander, Mullah Burjan, said he will aim to shoot down Apache gunships and "will love to hit his chopper".

The third-in-line to the British throne, who arrived in Afghanistan on Friday to begin his four-month mission flying Apache helicopters, was the subject to a media blackout during his previous posting in 2007.