Page last updated at 19:51 GMT, Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Dead UK soldier killed in Afghanistan is named by MoD

L/Cpl Christopher Roney
L/Cpl Christopher Roney died a day after receiving his wounds

The second British soldier to be killed in a suspected "friendly fire" incident this week in Afghanistan has been named by the Ministry of Defence.

L/Cpl Christopher Roney, 23, from Sunderland, of A Company, 3rd Battalion The Rifles was wounded in Sangin on 21 December and died a day later.

His death and L/Cpl Michael Pritchard's - in a separate suspected friendly fire incident - are being investigated.

His wife Lorna and family said he was "born a legend, died a hero".

'Loved always'

Meanwhile, a soldier from the Parachute Regiment was killed on Tuesday by a suspected improvised explosive device. They have not been named but next of kin have been informed.

A strong, robust, tried and tested soldier, his mission was to serve the regiment, the battalion and his mates
Lieutenant Colonel Nick Kitson, 3 Rifles Battle Group

The explosion happened during a foot patrol near Sangin in Helmand Province, and that death means there have been three British fatalities this week.

The deaths take the number of British military personnel killed on operations in Afghanistan since 2001 to 243.

L/Cpl Roney joined 3 Rifles in Edinburgh in May 2006, qualifying as a Class One Infantry soldier in October 2007 and was promoted to lance corporal in March 2009.

He deployed to Afghanistan with the 3 Rifles Battle Group in October 2009.

In their statement, his family said: "Loved always and sadly missed by his son William (five months), wife Lorna and family."

Lieutenant Colonel Nick Kitson, commanding officer of 3 Rifles Battle Group said: "L/Cpl Roney was an utterly professional rifleman who was held in the highest regard by all around him, his seniors, peers and subordinates alike.

"A strong, robust, tried and tested soldier, his mission was to serve the regiment, the battalion and his mates.

"New to command and responsibility, he was not one to shy away from the unpopular decisions and was respected all the more as a result. Such was his quality, compassion and depth that he was loved as much as he was respected."

The other soldier to die in a suspected friendly fire incident this week was L/Cpl Pritchard, 22, a Kent-born Royal Military Policeman who lived in Eastbourne, Sussex.

He died as a result of "small arms fire" - also near Sangin - on Sunday.

Both deaths are under investigation and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said no firm conclusions would be drawn until after the men's inquests.



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