Page last updated at 19:17 GMT, Wednesday, 16 September 2009 20:17 UK

Soldier dies in Afghan explosion

British troops in Afghanistan
The death takes the number of British troops killed in Afghanistan to 216

A British solider has died in a blast in southern Afghanistan, the MoD says.

The soldier, from 2nd Battalion The Rifles, was on foot patrol in the Gereshk district of central Helmand province, when he died.

It comes after a soldier from 2nd Royal Tank Regiment died in a UK hospital after being wounded in Afghanistan on Saturday. Both families have been told.

The number of British service personnel killed in Afghanistan since operations began in 2001 now stands at 216.

The soldier injured on Saturday was caught in an explosion while on patrol in a Viking armoured vehicle in north-west Helmand province.

He died at the Royal College of Defence Medicine in Selly Oak, Birmingham.

Lt Col Nick Richardson, spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said: "This brave British soldier has made the ultimate sacrifice and his passing is mourned by the whole of Task Force Helmand.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and comrades at this very sad time."

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