Page last updated at 11:16 GMT, Tuesday, 17 November 2009

UK soldier killed on patrol named

Rifleman Andrew Fentiman (Copyright: MoD)
Rifleman Fentiman died after coming under fire while on a foot patrol

A British soldier killed in Afghanistan on Sunday has been named by the MoD as Rifleman Andrew Fentiman of 7th Battalion The Rifles.

The 23-year-old was in the Territorial Army and had put his career as a sales manager on hold to go to Afghanistan.

Rifleman Fentiman, from Cambridgeshire, died after coming under fire while on a foot patrol near Sangin in central Helmand province.

The total number of UK forces killed in Afghanistan since 2001 stands at 234.

Rifleman Fentiman read mechanical engineering at the University of Leicester before becoming a regional sales manager for a software firm based in Huntingdon.

The soldier, known as Fen, spent two years in the East Midlands University Officer Training Corps and went on to join the TA battalion, 7 Rifles, in 2007.

Rifleman Fentiman was attached to the 3 Rifles Battle Group in Afghanistan.

He volunteered to serve with the group in a bid to gain experience as a step towards his goal of winning a commission as an officer in the regular Army.

Rifleman Fentiman intended to return to his civilian job after he had completed his tour of duty. He leaves his parents, Kevin and Lynda, brother Adam and sister Elizabeth.

Lt Col Nick Kitson, commander of the group, said he was "liked and respected by all and will be sorely missed".

"A university graduate, he was something of a novelty to his platoon," he said.

"Bright and enthusiastic he fitted in instantly. I have infinite respect for the commitment and sacrifice of this brave rifleman who had so many opportunities ahead of him yet chose first to serve his country and his regiment."

Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth said it was "with great sadness" that he learnt of the soldier's death, describing him as "a man who by all accounts enjoyed Army life, and volunteered to serve in Afghanistan".

Mr Ainsworth went on: "In his short time with 3 Rifles he made his mark, and earned the respect of his colleagues.

"My thoughts are with his family and friends at what must be a very difficult time for them."

Another British soldier, from 33 Engineer Regiment, Royal Engineers, was killed in an explosion near Gereshk, in Helmand province, on Sunday afternoon.

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