Page last updated at 14:05 GMT, Thursday, 25 February 2010

Afghanistan - British soldier shot near Sangin

Generic image of British soldiers involved in Operation Moshtarak in Afghanistan
Neither death was said to be connected to Operation Moshtarak

A British soldier has been shot, becoming the second UK serviceman to die in Afghanistan within 24 hours, the Ministry of Defence has said.

The man, from A Company, 4th Battalion The Rifles, died while on foot patrol near Sangin, Helmand, on Thursday.

The ministry had earlier announced the death of an airman, of 2 Squadron, RAF Regiment and part of the Kandahar Airfield Defence Force, in a blast.

He died on Wednesday while on vehicle patrol. Both families have been told.

He died doing his duty and among his fellow airmen; his sacrifice will not be forgotten
Lt Col David Wakefield

Neither death was connected to the ongoing Operation Moshtarak, which involves up to 15,000 Nato troops clearing the Taliban from parts of southern Helmand.

Some 4,000 British personnel have been involved in the offensive, alongside US and Afghan forces, with the aim of securing government control in the towns of Marjah and Nad Ali.

The spokesman for Britain's Task Force Helmand, Lt Col David Wakefield, said the soldier had been serving as part of the 3 Rifles Battle Group.

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"He was on a foot patrol, part of ongoing operations to protect the people of Sangin from insurgents, when his patrol was fired on," he said.

"His courage and his selfless commitment will be sorely missed by us, his comrades; we will remember him."

The latest two deaths take the number of British service personnel killed in the conflict to 265.



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