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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 June 2006, 17:22 GMT 18:22 UK
NI soldier's death 'devastating'
Soldiers in Afghanistan
UK troops have been serving in Helmand since earlier this year
Tributes have been paid to a Northern Ireland man killed earlier this week while serving with the Army special services in Afghanistan.

The soldier was killed in fighting with Taleban forces in the Helmand Province. Another soldier was killed and a third injured when a rocket propelled grenade hit their vehicle.

Ulster Unionist assembly member David McClarty said it was devastating for the man's family.

"Many of us, when we listen to the news about what's happening in Afghanistan and Iraq think that it's a world away," Mr McClarty said.

"Yet when something like this happens involving someone from our own community it brings it all home."

A spokesman for the British military in southern Afghanistan said the soldiers had been taking part in a "planned operation".

"The patrol was supported by close air support and by the quick reaction force that came out to support them," he said.

"Both those forces were then involved in separate contact incidents, and both were supported by close air support and artillery."

Information from the MoD shows that 10 British servicemen have died in Afghanistan since November 2001.

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