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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 July 2006, 17:24 GMT 18:24 UK
Dead UK soldier is named by MoD
Private Damien Raymond Jackson
The soldier served in Northern Ireland and Iraq during his career
The latest British soldier killed in Afghanistan's volatile Helmand province has been named as Private Damien Raymond Jackson.

The 19-year-old soldier, of South Shields, Tyne and Wear, was shot while on a patrol near the town of Sangin.

His father, Daniel, said he was "extremely proud" of his son but added that government policy was putting UK forces into "dreadful danger".

Pte Jackson would have celebrated his twentieth birthday on Sunday.

The death of Pte Jackson, of the 3 Para Battle Group, on Wednesday follows the loss of two British servicemen in Helmand at the weekend.

One of the very best in all respects, he will be sadly missed by all his comrades in 3 Para and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time
Lieutenant Colonel Stuart J C Tootal

Daniel Jackson said: "I wish everyone to know just how extremely proud I am of my son Damien - of all that he has achieved in his lifetime and of the fact that he died, when duty called, protecting others, in the service of his country.

"A fine, upstanding South Shields lad, Damien was immensely proud to have achieved his ultimate ambition in becoming a member of the finest regiment in the British Army."

Dreadful danger

Pte Jackson was a keen fan of Sunderland Football Club and also enjoyed athletics.

Mr Jackson added: "He will be missed and fondly remembered by everyone who knew him. My family and I are desolated at this news but we will strive to seek inspiration from the example of his courage.

"We fully support the British Army in Afghanistan whilst in no way supporting or condoning a government policy which has placed our young men and women in such dreadful danger."

Pte Jackson's commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Stuart J C Tootal, said also paid tribute.

'Excellent soldier'

He described Pte Jackson as an "excellent young soldier" who represented "the very best of what being a paratrooper is all about".

Lt Col Tootal added: "Extremely popular and a superb sportsman, he was also highly professional and always took care of those around him.

"One of the very best in all respects, he will be sadly missed by all his comrades in 3 Para and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time."

Pte Jackson had also served in Northern Ireland in June, 2004 and, then in Basra, Iraq.

He was also a team medic and had shown was interested in becoming a combat medic.






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