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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 March 2007, 12:56 GMT
Marine killed in Helmand is named
Royal Marines in Afghanistan
The UK will deploy more troops to Afghanistan over the summer
A Royal Marine killed in Afghanistan when his unit came under fire from militants has been named.

Marine Benjamin Reddy, 22, from Ascot, Berkshire, of K Company, 42 Commando, died on Tuesday during an operation in the Kajaki area of Helmand province.

His death took the number of UK troops killed in combat operations in Afghanistan since 2001 to 51.

The "clearance" operation was entirely separate from a major Nato offensive against the Taleban in the province.

He will be remembered as an honest and unselfish man
Lt Col Matt Holmes

In a statement, his company said: "Ben's absence will be profoundly felt by all ranks within K Company.

"We have lost a vibrant, unique character with an irrepressible sense of loyalty to his comrades. But most of all we have lost a true friend."

Commanding officer, Lt Col Matt Holmes, said: "Ben Reddy was a dedicated Royal Marine. He will be remembered as an honest and unselfish man who was conscientious in his approach to his duties and always worked hard for his friends and colleagues.

"He was always the first to offer assistance or to volunteer no matter what the associated danger."

On Saturday two servicemen from 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery were killed in a rocket attack in the Sangin area of Helmand.

In February, the government said the UK would deploy 1,400 more troops to the country over the summer, bringing total numbers up to 7,700.

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