Page last updated at 17:03 GMT, Saturday, 3 May 2008 18:03 UK

Afghan mine blast soldier named

Ratu Babakobau
Trooper Babakobau leaves a wife and two young sons in Fiji

A British soldier killed when his patrol vehicle hit a mine in Afghanistan has been named as Trooper Ratu Babakobau, 29, from Fiji.

Three other soldiers were injured in the explosion as they were providing protection for a routine patrol in Helmand province's Nowzad area.

The four soldiers were all members of the Household Cavalry Regiment, the same regiment as Prince Harry.

An Afghan translator was also seriously injured in the attack.

The Ministry of Defence said Trooper Babakobau only arrived in Afghanistan last month and was on his first mission overseas.

The married father of two young boys joined the Army in 2004 and served in both the Mounted Regiment and the Household Cavalry.

Lieutenant Colonel Harry Fullerton, commanding officer of the Household Cavalry, said: "He was already a leader of men. Words themselves cannot express our grief at this time and our thoughts lie with his wife, children and his family back in Fiji."

The death brings the number of UK troops killed in Afghanistan since 2001 to 95.

The three other soldiers were not seriously injured in the explosion, which happened at 1350 BST on Friday.

BBC correspondent Alistair Leithead said the incident had happened on the limits of an area known to be Taleban-controlled.

He said commanders had yet to establish whether the mine had been left over from the Soviet era or left there by insurgents.

An MoD spokesman said the casualties had been taken to the International Security Assistance Force medical facilities at Camp Bastion, where Trooper Babakobau was pronounced dead on arrival.




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