Two die after attacks in Afghanistan

Two British servicemen died within hours of each other after being wounded in separate incidents in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence said today.

A Royal Marine died at Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham late last night from injuries he sustained near Lashkar Gah in Helmand Province last Friday.

And a soldier from 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment was killed in an explosion near Garmsir in Helmand this morning.

The servicemen have not been named but their families have been informed.

The Marine, a member of the Royal Marine Armoured Support Group, was seriously injured when a blast struck his Viking armoured vehicle.

He was given emergency medical aid in Afghanistan before being flown back to Britain for specialist treatment, but died from his wounds five days later.

The second serviceman was killed by an improvised explosive device, according to the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf).

Military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Nick Richardson said it was an "incredibly sad day" for the whole of Task Force Helmand.

Isaf spokesman Captain Mark Durkin said: "Isaf has lost two very brave soldiers. Words cannot express our deep sadness at the passing of these two fine service members who gave their lives helping the people of Afghanistan.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of our fallen colleagues at this difficult and tragic time."

The deaths takes the number of British service personnel who have died in Afghanistan since the start of operations in October 2001 to 163.