Page last updated at 10:44 GMT, Sunday, 16 November 2008

UK soldier killed in Afghanistan

British troops in Afghanistan
The death takes the number of British troops killed in Afghanistan to 125

A British soldier has died in a bomb blast in southern Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence has said.

The soldier, from 2nd Battalion the Royal Gurkha Rifles, died on Saturday after his vehicle hit an explosive device while on patrol.

He had been taking part in a routine road move when it happened, the MoD said. Next of kin have been informed.

His death in Musa Qala, Helmand, takes the number of UK troops killed in Afghanistan since 2001 to 125.

'Heartfelt sympathies'

Cdr Paula Rowe of Task Force Helmand said everyone in the force had been saddened by the soldier's death.

We have lost a valuable member of our team
Brig Gen Richard Blanchette

"While there are no words to ease their loss, our heartfelt sympathies go to his family, friends and fellow soldiers at this difficult time," she said.

Brig Gen Richard Blanchette, of the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf), also extended his condolences to the soldier's family.

He said: "We have lost a valuable member of our team and this loss will be felt across Isaf."

The soldier's death is the second from the battalion in just over two weeks.

Yubraj Rai, 28, was killed on 4 November when his patrol was attacked, also in Musa Qala.

Britain has about 8,000 troops in Afghanistan. It is the second-largest contributor of foreign forces in the country after the United States.

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