Page last updated at 16:38 GMT, Thursday, 27 November 2008

UK marines killed in Afghanistan

Royal Marines
The loss of the marines was a "bitter and tragic blow", a spokeswoman said

Two Royal Marines have been killed in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence has said.

They died after their foot patrol near Lashkar Gah, Helmand province, came under fire from insurgents.

Both served with 42 Commando Royal Marines. Next of kin have been informed and have asked for a period of grace before further details are released.

Their deaths bring the number of UK forces killed in Afghanistan since the start of operations in 2001 to 128.

Cdr Paula Rowe, spokeswoman for Task Force Helmand, said their loss was a "bitter and tragic blow".

"While words cannot ease their devastation, our heartfelt condolences go out to their families, friends and comrades at this most painful time," she added.

Just three days previously, another marine, Alexander Lucas, 24, of 45 Commando, was killed by a roadside bomb in the Kajaki area of Helmand.

And on 12 November two marines, Robert McKibben and Neil Dunstan, died while on patrol in the Garmsir district of southern Helmand.

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