Page last updated at 20:48 GMT, Wednesday, 18 November 2009

UK soldier killed in Afghanistan

Member of UK armed forces in Afghanistan
Altogether, 98 UK service personnel have been killed in Afghanistan in 2009

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

The soldier, from the Royal Military Police, was shot dead during a gun battle in the Babaji area of Helmand province on Wednesday morning.

An MoD spokesman said next of kin had been informed.

The total number of UK service personnel killed in Afghanistan since 2001 now stands at 235, with 98 deaths this year alone.

'We will remember'

Lieutenant Colonel David Wakefield, spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said he issued the statement with "deep sadness".

He said: "A soldier from the Royal Military Police was shot and killed this morning on operations in the Babaji area of Helmand Province - one of our fellow soldiers taken from us in the course of his duty, and who we will remember."

Two soldiers were killed in Helmand on Sunday - Rifleman Andrew Fentiman and Corporal Loren Marlton-Thomas.

Rifleman Fentiman, of the 7th Battalion The Rifles, a Territorial Army unit, was shot dead while on a foot patrol near Sangin.

The 23-year-old sales manager from Cambridgeshire had volunteered to serve with the 3 Rifles Battle Group in Afghanistan as a step towards becoming a regular Army officer.

Cpl Marlton-Thomas, from 33 Engineer Regiment, was a bomb disposal expert. The 28-year-old from Essex was killed in an explosion while searching for roadside bombs.

There are currently about 9,000 British troops in Afghanistan, with the majority deployed in the southern province of Helmand.

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