Page last updated at 12:15 GMT, Wednesday, 13 May 2009 13:15 UK

Shot UK soldier dies in hospital

Black Watch soldier
The soldier was shot in Helmand Province

A British soldier has died in hospital in the UK, three days after being shot in Afghanistan's Helmand Province.

The officer, who has not yet been named, died at Birmingham's Selly Oak Hospital, the Ministry of Defence said.

The soldier, of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, was described by colleagues as a "brave officer".

His next of kin were at his bedside at the hospital when he died. A total of 158 UK troops have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001.

The officer had been given medical attention on the ground and at a field hospital before being flown back to the UK for further specialist treatment, the MoD said.

Sorely missed

Task Force Helmand spokesman Lt Col Nick Richardson said: "Today is a very sad day and we are deeply moved by the death of this brave officer.

"His loss will be felt most sorely by his family and friends, as well as those of us who served alongside him.

"He gave his life serving our country and defending the good people of Afghanistan. Our thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathy go to his loved ones at this very difficult time."

He is the fifth UK serviceman to die in Afghanistan this month.

Four servicemen were killed in three separate incidents in Helmand Province on Thursday.

Sgt Ben Ross, 34, of 173 Provost Company, 3rd Regiment, Royal Military Police, and Cpl Kumar Pun, 31, of the 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, were killed by a suicide bomber while on patrol in Gereshk, Helmand province.

Rifleman Adrian Sheldon, 25, from 2nd Battalion The Rifles, was killed in a blast near Sangin in Helmand province that evening, and Cpl Sean Binnie, 22, from the Black Watch, 3rd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland, was shot near Musa Qaleh in Helmand.

Their remains were flown to RAF Lyneham, in Wiltshire, on Wednesday.

After watching a fly-past, the men's families attended a private ceremony at the base.

The coffins were then being driven through Wootton Bassett in a cortege, with hundreds of people forming a guard of honour along the three-mile route.

The local town council and the Royal British Legion have organised turn-outs in Wooton Bassett since 2007, when deceased troops began arriving at nearby Lyneham.



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