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published by ICM Research yesterday, which showed more than two-thirds of the population believe UK troops should be withdrawn from Afghanistan in the next year.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
Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick