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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 September 2006, 17:10 GMT 18:10 UK
Killed British soldier is named
UK soldiers in Afghanistan
Six British soldiers were killed in action in Afghanistan in August
A British soldier killed by insurgents in Afghanistan has been named by the Ministry of Defence.

Ranger Anare Draiva, 27, who was Fijian and part of 1 Royal Irish Regiment, died in an attack in the Helmand province on Friday.

Another UK soldier was seriously hurt in the attack, the MoD said. One insurgent was understood to have died.

Ranger Draiva's commanding officer Lt Col Michael McGovern called him "a superb, strong and courageous soldier".

"He performed brilliantly well in his recent tour of southern Iraq and was one of the first to volunteer for the tour of Afghanistan," he said.

"His contribution in Helmand province in extremely challenging conditions has been second to none and those that know Draiva will not be surprised that he was killed in action, in the face of the enemy, defending his comrades and base.

"His death has been received with real sadness by his colleagues in Afghanistan and the rest of the battalion at Fort George, near Inverness."

Ranger Draiva's death takes the total number of UK troops killed while on operations in Afghanistan since 2001 to 22.

Defence Secretary Des Browne said: "I wish to express my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Ranger Anare Draiva.

"My thoughts are with them and those of the other solider injured in the same incident."

Other soldiers killed

During August, six British soldiers were killed in action in Afghanistan.

Nearly 4,000 British troops are deployed in Afghanistan.

Helmand, in the south west of the country and the area where most of Afghanistan's opium production is concentrated, sees regular deadly violence blamed on Taleban fighters or drug lords.

Although the Taleban was ousted from power five years ago, supporters have this year stepped up attacks on foreign and Afghan troops.

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