Page last updated at 12:18 GMT, Saturday, 14 March 2009

UK soldier killed in Afghanistan

Map showing Musa Qala

A British soldier from The 2nd Battalion, Royal Welsh Regiment, has been killed in southern Afghanistan.

He was injured in an explosion while on foot patrol in Musa Qala in northern Helmand, and medics were unable to prevent him dying at the scene.

The Ministry of Defence said that next of kin have been informed.

The death brings the number of British service personnel killed in Afghanistan since operations began in October 2001 to 150.

Commander Paula Rowe, the spokeswoman for British troops in Afghanistan, said: "Task Force Helmand feels the loss of every serviceman and we mourn the death of this brave soldier.

"We send our thoughts and prayers to his family and friends at home and all those who served alongside him at this desperately sad time."

The Ministry of Defence said it would be 24 hours before he would be officially identified.

Bomb foiled

Brigadier-General Richard Blanchette, spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force, said: "We are saddened by this brave soldier's death, and offer our heartfelt condolences to the soldier's family and friends.

"Through our grief, we are strengthened in our resolve to help bring security and stability to Afghanistan."

The news of the soldier's death came as it emerged that a Royal marine had foiled a roadside bomb plot in Sangin, in another part of Helmand province.

The Royal Marine Commando from 45 Commando Group became suspicious when he saw three men digging on a track and he soon realised they were making a hole for a bomb, said the Ministry of Defence.

The marine used a shoulder-launched missile to kill the three men and destroy the device.

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