Teenage soldiers latest to die in Afghanistan

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The Independent Online

Two teenagers have been named as the latest British military deaths in Afghanistan.

Rifleman Jonathon Allott, 19, from Bournemouth, and Rifleman Liam Maughan, 18, from Doncaster, were killed in separate incidents on Friday and Saturday. Both men died near Sangin in Helmand province and were members of 3rd Battalion The Rifles.

The Ministry of Defence also announced that a third fatal incident in as many days had claimed the life of a fighter from A Company 4 Rifles. His next of kin has been informed.

The soldier, who was attached to the same battalion as the teenage casualties, was shot yesterday when his patrol base came under attack from insurgents.

Their deaths bring the number of British military casualties in Afghanistan since the conflict began in 2001 to 271.

Rfn Allott died in an bomb blast whilst on a mission to set up a new patrol base.

Tributes from family and colleagues recalled an "inspirational" soldier.

In a statement, his parents Michael and Andrea, sister Nikki and brothers Daniel and Marc said that he "died a hero doing the job he loved".

They added: "He had a wish that his brothers could have shared his experiences with him. Jonathon couldn't wait to get home and wear his medal with pride."

Friend and colleague Rfn George Milner said: "Jonny had a heart of gold. He went from a mate, to a best mate, to a brother.

"Everyone in the platoon loved him."

Rfn Maughan, an Army sharpshooter, was shot dead in a firefight with insurgents.

His family said the loss would leave "a massive irreparable hole" in the lives of all who knew him.

He leaves behind his parents, girlfriend and new born son he never met.

In a statement, his family said: "Liam was a tall, handsome six-footer, with looks to melt the heart of any girl and make men envious, but he was also a son and a brother, a fiance and a father to his own son who he will now never meet.

"This cruel and premature departure from us leaves dreams unfulfilled, potentials unrealised and a massive irreparable hole in the lives of everyone who knew him."

Friends said Rfn Maughan would be remembered as a "top bloke" who was always up for a joke, even if it was at his own expense.

Given the nickname "Princess" because of his good looks, members of his platoon said he would be sorely missed.

Rfn Jean De Clerk said: "He was always in high spirits because of his job as platoon sharpshooter and I am confident he would have been a fine sniper, which was his aspiration.

"I truly count him as a friend, my heart breaks for his girlfriend and his son which he was so excited to see for the first time, but he never will."