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Last Updated: Friday, 29 December 2006, 19:37 GMT
MoD names killed Helmand soldier
L/Bombardier James Dwyer
L/Bombardier Dwyer was driving when the vehicle struck a mine
A UK soldier killed in an explosion in southern Afghanistan has been named as L/Bombardier James Dwyer of 29 Commando Regiment, Royal Artillery.

The 22-year-old was killed on Wednesday when his vehicle hit an anti-tank mine during a reconnaissance mission in desert south of Garmsir, Helmand.

Another serviceman was seriously hurt while two sustained minor injuries.

The seriously injured man had been operated on and was "doing well", a Royal Marines spokesman said.

'Family man'

Lance Bombardier Dwyer, born and raised in South Africa, was described as a "professionally outstanding soldier".

Known as "Doobs" to his friends and colleagues, he joined the Army in July 2003, and joined the 29 regiment in June 2004.

The MoD described him as a "bright and intelligent young man with an infectious sense of humour".

It added he has a "passion for travel" and was an "enthusiastic sportsman".

"Very much a family man, he spoke often of home and was especially close to his sister, also a serving soldier in the British Army," it said.

"He had proven himself a versatile and dedicated soldier whilst deployed on exercises both in the UK and Norway, as well as on operations in Afghanistan."

'Missed sorely'

L/Bombardier Dwyer's commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Neil Wilson, said he "displayed all the characteristics of a commando soldier".

"He was extremely popular within the regiment and undoubtedly would have progressed through the ranks rapidly.

"James will be missed sorely by all members of 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, and our thoughts and condolences go to his family and friends at this very difficult time," he said.

The Plymouth-based 29 regiment is the Close Support Artillery Regiment that supports 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines.

The number of UK troops killed while on operations in Afghanistan since 2001 is now 44.

Of the 44, 21 died from accidents, illness, or non-combat injuries, according to the MoD.

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