Page last updated at 06:33 GMT, Friday, 2 January 2009

UK soldier killed in Afghanistan

British soldiers in Afghanistan
The latest death takes the death toll of UK troops to 138 in Afghanistan

A British soldier has been killed in an explosion in southern Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence has said.

The member of 6th Battalion The Rifles died on New Year's Day in the Garmsir district of Helmand province. Next of kin have been informed.

He is the 138th member of British forces to die in Afghanistan since the start of operations in October 2001.

It comes a day after Royal Marine Cpl Liam Elms died during a routine patrol in the Sangin district of Helmand.

Of the latest death, Commander Paula Rowe, spokeswoman for Task Force Helmand, said: "It is deeply saddening to confirm the loss of a British soldier who died whilst helping to provide security in Southern Helmand.

Fit, strong, courageous and very good humoured he died leading his section from the front, doing the job he loved
Lt Col Jim Morris

"His family, friends and all those who knew and worked with him will mourn his loss - our heartfelt sympathies go to them all at this terrible time."

Cpl Elms, 26, from Wigan, served with 45 Commando Royal Marines.

He was the 12th Royal Marine to die in two months.

In a statement released through the Ministry of Defence, his family described him as a "true man's man".

"Liam always strived to be the best, his proudest achievement was receiving his beloved green beret," they said.

"Liam will leave a huge hole in our lives and he will always be missed."

'Huge personality'

Cpl Elms, who had a fiancee, joined the Royal Marines in 2001, and he saw active service in Northern Ireland and Iraq.

A "physically strong and powerful man", he was a keen Rugby League fan.

Lt Col Jim Morris, commanding officer of 45 Commando Group, said he was an "outstanding Royal Marine and a huge personality".

"Fit, strong, courageous and very good humoured he died leading his section from the front, doing the job he loved in the company of his friends who had tremendous trust in him."

Defence Secretary John Hutton said: "Corporal Liam Elms was clearly an outstanding Marine.

"His family, friends and colleagues will mourn deeply his loss, and my thoughts are with them at this most difficult time."



Print Sponsor


RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2018 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific