Soldier shot dead on patrol in Helmand


Click to follow
The Independent Online

A British soldier from 3rd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment, has been killed in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence said last night.

The soldier was part of a patrol to disrupt insurgent activity in the south of the Nahr-e Saraj district in Helmand Province, when he was hit by small arms fire. His next of kin have been informed.

Lieutenant Colonel John Kerner, spokesman for British Forces Helmand, said: "His loss will be felt by everyone across Task Force Helmand and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time." The soldier becomes the 417th member of UK forces to have died since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001.

His death came hours after a soldier from 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh, who was killed in the same area of Afghanistan on Friday, was named by the Ministry of Defence as Corporal Michael John Thacker.

Cpl Thacker, 27, was manning an observation post, also in the Nahr-e Saraj district, when his patrol came under attack, the Ministry of Defence said.

He received immediate medical attention and was evacuated by helicopter, but died of his injuries. Cpl Thacker, from Coventry, was married with a two-year-old daughter.