Page last updated at 20:22 GMT, Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Two British soldiers killed in Afghanistan blast named

Cpl John Moore and Pte Sean McDonald
Cpl John Moore (left) and Pte Sean McDonald were on routine night patrol

Two British soldiers killed by an explosion in Afghanistan on Sunday have been named by the Ministry of Defence.

They were Cpl John Moore, 22, and Pte Sean McDonald, 26, from the Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland.

The pair died while on foot patrol near Sangin in Helmand province.

A total of 256 UK personnel have died in Afghanistan since 2001 after a soldier from 36 Engineer Regiment, yet to be named, was killed on Monday.

Cpl Moore, from Bellshill, Lanarkshire, was commanding his section on a routine night patrol when a roadside bomb went off.

The device killed him and lead man Pte McDonald, who was born in Toronto, but went to school in Edinburgh.

The deaths of the two soldiers took the total of British killed in Afghanistan to the same number as during the 1982 Falklands War.

'Courage and loyalty'

Cpl Moore's family said: "Johnathan was a proud Scottish soldier who was doing a job that he loved.

"He will be sadly missed by a loving and very proud family. The Army and his family were Johnathan's life - we are devastated at our loss."

Pte McDonald leaves a wife Jennifer, mother Jacqueline, brother Darryle and sister Ceilidh.

His mother said: "My son was so proud to be a soldier. He will be desperately missed by all family and friends. This tragedy has left a hole in our lives and a hole in our heart."

Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth said: "I was so very sorry to learn of the deaths of Corporal John Moore and Private Sean McDonald.

"Hearing about these two brave men, I am filled with admiration for their courage and loyalty.

"It is very clear that both were professional, courageous, selfless, and committed - true infantry soldiers. My thoughts and deepest sympathies are with their loved ones."

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