Page last updated at 12:46 GMT, Thursday, 25 December 2008

UK marine killed on Christmas Eve

Royal Marines in Afghanistan
Eleven Royal Marines have been killed in Afghanistan in the past two months

A Royal Marine was killed in Afghanistan on Christmas Eve, the Ministry of Defence has said.

The marine, from 42 Commando, died from enemy fire in the Nad-e-Ali district near Lashkar Gah in Helmand province.

Military spokeswoman Commander Paula Rowe said the death was "particularly poignant" so close to Christmas. The marine's family has been informed.

Some 136 UK troops have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001, including 11 Royal Marines in the past two months.

'Dedicated professional'

Commander Rowe said: "The death of this Royal Marine is a tragic loss and coming so close to Christmas, this is particularly poignant.

This dedicated professional risked his life to help bring security and stability to the people of Afghanistan
Capt Mark Windsor
Nato spokesman

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this dreadfully sad time."

Nato spokesman Capt Mark Windsor, of the Royal Navy, expressed sadness at the marine's death.

Capt Windsor said: "This dedicated professional risked his life to help bring security and stability to the people of Afghanistan.

"[Nato's] International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) will continue to fight for the cause for which this brave serviceman gave his life."

The MoD said 42 Commando were spending Christmas Day out on operations as usual despite the death of the marine.

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