Two Royal Marines killed in Afghanistan

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Insurgents killed two Royal Marines in Afghanistan yesterday. The servicemen, from 42 Commando Royal Marines, were taking part in a foot patrol north-west of Lashkar Gah in the southern area of Helmand province when they came under sustained enemy fire.

Their relatives have been informed and have asked for a period of grace before more details are released. Commander Paula Rowe, the spokeswoman for Task Force Helmand, said: "The loss of these two Royal Marines has come as a bitter and tragic blow to everyone in Task Force Helmand."

Another Marine, Alexander Lucas, 24, from 45 Commando, based in Arbroath, was killed by a roadside bomb in the Kajaki area of Helmand on Monday. On 12 November two other marines, Robert McKibben and Neil Dunstan, died during a patrol in Garmsir district of southern Helmand. Since 2001, 128 British service personnel have been killed in Afghanistan.