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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 June 2007, 17:25 GMT 18:25 UK
UK soldier killed in Afghanistan
L/Cpl Paul Sandford (File photo)
L/Cpl Paul Sandford was shot while on a patrol
A British serviceman has been killed in southern Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed.

L/Cpl Paul Sandford, 23, from Nottingham, was from 1st Battalion The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters.

The MoD added that he was shot while on patrol with his company in the Upper Gereshk Valley area of Helmand Province clearing a Taleban compound.

He was flown for medical treatment but pronounced dead. His family have been informed, the MoD said.

'Moving forward'

He was the 59th member of the British armed forces to die in Afghanistan since the conflict began in November 2001.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "The company was moving forward to clear a Taleban compound when they came under fire and the soldier was shot."

The spokesman added that the serviceman was killed at 0645 local time (0345 BST) in the valley, which is around five miles (8km) from the town of Gereshk.

Lt Col Richard Westley MC, his commanding officer, said: "L/Cpl Paul 'Sandy' Sandford was killed in action whilst fighting enemy forces in the Upper Gereshk Valley in Helmand Province. He has died as he had lived, fearlessly leading his men from the front.

"We have lost a good friend and an exceptional fighting man and we send our thoughts to his wife, Gaynor, and his family.

"Whilst the loss of L/Cpl Sandford weighs heavy on our hearts it strengthens our resolve to pursue our goals here and we strive to uphold the standards that he set and maintained."

Another non-British Nato soldier, whose nationality has not been released, was also killed on the same day elsewhere in southern Afghanistan.

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