Two Marines killed in Afghanistan

Two British Royal Marines were killed in an explosion in southern Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence confirmed today.

The pair, from UK Landing Force Command Support Group, were taking part in a joint patrol with soldiers from Afghan security forces when their vehicle was struck by an explosive device in the Garmsir district of Southern Helmand yesterday afternoon.

Commander Paula Rowe, of Task Force Helmand, said: "This is a tragic blow to us all in the task force, but our loss is nothing compared to that of their families and loved ones.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this terrible time."

Next of kin have been informed.





The pair were operating as part of Task Force Helmand's Information Exploitation Group, which is responsible for gathering information to improve situational awareness and to gain an advantage over enemy forces.

The incident happened at 4.47pm local time yesterday.

The marines were on a routine patrol and the cause of the explosion is not yet known.

Brigadier General Richard Blanchette of the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said: "Our deepest sympathies go out to their family, friends and fellow soldiers.

"Their lives are irreplaceable to all of us who fight for the peace and stability of Afghanistan."

The soldiers' next of kin asked for a 24-hour period of grace before more information is released, the MoD said.

The deaths bring the number of British services personnel killed in Afghanistan since operations began to 124.

On November 4 the first Nepalese Gurkha soldier was killed fighting in the country.

Yubraj Rai, 28, who served with the 2nd Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, was killed while on patrol near Musa Qaleh in southern Afghanistan.

In a separate incident today, a suicide car bomber in eastern Afghanistan killed 20 civilians and an American soldier, a US military spokesman said.

Lieutenant Commander Walter Matthews said the bomber attacked a US convoy in a crowded market in the Bati Kot district of Nangarhar province.



The deaths follow a survey published by ICM Research yesterday, which showed more than two-thirds of the population believe UK troops should be withdrawn from Afghanistan in the next year.

The poll was commissioned by BBC4 ahead of the debate In Afghanistan: Should We Bring Home The Troops?, which will be broadcast at 8pm tonight.

But an MoD spokesman said its most recently commissioned Mori poll showed more than 50% of the public supported the UK armed forces' presence in Afghanistan.

And in a recent Chatham House survey, only 37% of responses called for the withdrawal of British forces.

But the spokesman said using such polls "is not necessarily helpful - there is an important job to be done in Afghanistan and we must win public support for it".

"The UK is committed to maintaining troops in Afghanistan until the government of Afghanistan (GoA) has built sufficient capacity to maintain a stable security situation and the rule of law," he said.

"UK military and civilians are playing a vital role in helping the Afghan government to build a better future for Afghanistan. In turn, a stable and secure Afghanistan is in the UK national interest, and we must not let it become a training ground for terrorists."

He added: "We need to do more to explain to the UK public why it's so important that the UK continues to support the GoA and the international presence in Afghanistan."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea