Two UK servicemen killed in Afghanistan

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The Independent Online

Two British servicemen were killed in southern Afghanistan in separate incidents, the Ministry of Defence said today. Next of kin were informed.

A soldier, from 1st Battalion Scots Guards, was killed by small arms fire in the Lashkar Gah District of Helmand Province yesterday.

A Royal Marine, from 40 Commando, died in an explosion while on foot patrol in the Sangin District of Helmand Province yesterday.

The families of the two soldiers have been informed.

Spokesman for Task Force Helmand, Lieutenant Colonel David Southall, said: "It is with great sadness I inform you that a soldier from 1st Battalion Scots Guards was killed in Lashkar Gah District of Helmand Province yesterday afternoon.

"Commanding his men, he was killed in action by small arms fire whilst providing security to the Afghan people.

"His selfless courage and sacrifice in the course of his duty will not be forgotten.

"In a separate incident, a Marine from 40 Commando Royal Marines was killed in Sangin, Helmand Province, yesterday afternoon.

"Deployed within a foot patrol providing local security to the people in the district, he died in an explosion.

"He gave his life whilst seeking to improve the lives of ordinary Afghans. His sacrifice will not be forgotten."

The soldier was serving with Combined Forces Lashkar while the marine was serving with Combined Forces Sangin.

Neither incident was linked with the ongoing operation to oust Taliban insurgents from a stronghold in southern Afghanistan.

Hundreds of British troops are taking part in Operation Tor Shezada, which entered its fourth day today.

UK troops and Afghan forces from 3rd Brigade, 215 Corps, are clearing insurgents from Sayedebad to the south of Nad-e Ali, in parallel to similar operations by the United States Marine Corps in northern Marjah.

The operation, which translates as "black prince", started with soldiers being dropped from Chinook helicopters under cover of darkness on Friday.

The troops are being spearheaded by 1st Battalion, The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment.