Page last updated at 10:05 GMT, Sunday, 14 September 2008 11:05 UK

UK soldier killed in Afghanistan

British soldiers
Most of Britain's 8,000 troops in Afghanistan are based in Helmand

A British soldier has been killed in an explosion in southern Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence has said.

The member of the 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, died while on a routine patrol near Kajaki in Helmand province on Saturday.

He is the second from the regiment to die in the region in 48 hours. His next-of-kin have been informed.

Lt Col David Reynolds, of Task Force Helmand said he would be remembered "in regimental history".

The number of soldiers killed on operations in Afghanistan since 2001 now stands at 120.

Col Reynolds said of the latest casualty: "The life of a British paratrooper can never be replaced, but it can be immortalised.

"His participation in this tour of Helmand will be remembered in regimental history as a tribute to his courage and as an honour to his family."

The MoD is still investigating the cause of the explosion.

'Booby-traps'

BBC correspondent Alastair Leithead, in Helmand, said: "More British troops have been killed by these booby-traps than anything else in the last 18 months."

The killing follows the death of Private Jason Lee Rawstron, also from 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, on Friday.

The 23-year-old, from Clayton-Le-Moors, Lancashire, was killed during a firefight with Taleban forces in the same region.

On Wednesday bomb disposal expert Gary O'Donnell, 40, died after leading a a small team sent in to clear an improvised explosive device.

Warrant Officer Class 2 O'Donnell, of the Royal Logistic Corps had earned a George Medal for bravery in Iraq in 2006 and was widely praised by colleagues for his heroism

Most of Britain's 8,000 troops in Afghanistan are based in Helmand province.




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