Page last updated at 21:53 GMT, Monday, 15 February 2010

Afghanistan blast kills UK bomb expert in Helmand

British soldiers train at searching for bombs
The dead soldier was among a team trained to find roadside bombs

A British soldier has been killed by an explosion while trying to clear a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.

The member of 36 Engineer Regiment died as a result of wounds he suffered north east of Sangin, Helmand province.

His death, the 261st among UK personnel since the conflict began in 2001, was unconnected to the ongoing Operation Moshtarak. His family have been told.

Lt Col David Wakefield said he was among a "unique breed" saving lives by repeatedly going out to remove bombs.

"His indomitable courage will not be forgotten," he said.

Col Wakefield said the man - part of the Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Task Force - was clearing bombs near Patrol Base Ezaray when he was hit by the blast.

His death comes a day after two soldiers were killed in separate incidents in the province.

Rifleman Mark Marshall, a police support officer who was serving with the Territorial Army, died in a blast while on foot patrol near Sangin.

Meanwhile, a member of 2nd Battalion, The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, who has not yet been named, was shot dead near Patrol Base Minden in the Musa Qala district.

Neither was involved in Moshtarak, an offensive involving up to 15,000 Nato troops searching for the Taliban in Marjah and Nad Ali.



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