Page last updated at 13:09 GMT, Sunday, 24 May 2009 14:09 UK

Serviceman killed in Afghanistan

British troops in Afghanistan
A total of 161 British troops have died in operations in Afghanistan since 2001

A British serviceman has died following an explosion in southern Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence has said.

The soldier, from 38 Engineer Regiment, died while on patrol near Sangin, in Helmand province on Saturday. Next of kin have been informed.

The death follows that of Fusilier Petero Suesue, 28, of the 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

A total of 161 UK service personnel have now been killed in Afghanistan since operations began in 2001.

In a statement, the Ministry of Defence confirmed the soldier, who was working with 2nd Battalion The Rifles, Battle Group, was killed on Saturday evening.

Contribution

Lieutenant Colonel Nick Richardson, the spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said: "My fellow sapper gave his life for his country and the freedom of the Afghan people; there is no greater sacrifice than this.

"Our deepest and heartfelt sympathies go to his family and loved ones and we offer our thoughts and prayers to them all at this most painful and distressing time."

Captain Mark Durkin Royal Navy, spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), said the soldier lost his life "helping to provide a brighter future to the Afghan people".

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of our fallen colleague at this difficult time," he added.

Fusilier "Pat" Suesue, who was born in Fiji but lived in Hounslow, west London, was killed near the town of Sangin in Helmand Province, on Friday.

He was a keen rugby player and spent previous tours in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan.

His commanding officer, Lt Col Charlie Calder, said the regiment had paid "a heavy price" with his death.



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