Page last updated at 08:24 GMT, Sunday, 8 November 2009

UK soldier dies in Helmand blast

Flags at half mast at the main British base in Afghanistan
Flags are being flown at half mast at the main British base in Afghanistan

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

The serviceman, from the 2nd Battalion, The Rifles, died on Saturday following a blast near the town of Sangin in Helmand province.

The MoD said the soldier's next of kin had been informed.

The death, announced as services are being held to mark Remembrance Sunday, brings the number of UK soldiers killed in Afghanistan since 2001 to 231.

Spokesman for Task Force Helmand, Lieutenant Colonel David Wakefield, said: "He died a soldier, doing his duty and among his fellow soldiers.

"He will not be forgotten."

Troops in Helmand held a service to mark Remembrance Sunday just hours before similar celebrations in the UK.

Map showing Sangin in Afghanistan

Shot dead

The MoD said the serviceman was serving with the 4th Battalion, The Rifles, when he was killed.

He is the eighth member of the UK armed forces to die in Afghanistan in eight days.

On Tuesday five soldiers were shot dead by an Afghan policeman they were training. Two other men died in separate explosions in Helmand.

The spate of casualties forced Gordon Brown to make a speech on Friday defending Britain's involvement in the conflict.

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