Page last updated at 22:20 GMT, Saturday, 27 March 2010

Afghanistan car bomb kills soldier from The Rifles

British soldiers with helicopter (Library)
Some 278 British military personnel have now died in the conflict

A soldier from Third Battalion The Rifles has been killed by a car bomber in Afghanistan, on the same day another soldier killed by a grenade was named.

The soldier, who was on patrol at the time of the attack, died on Saturday afternoon after an explosion 1km east of Sangin, in the Helmand Province.

His family have been informed of the death.

A soldier from Suffolk killed in Afghanistan on Friday was named as Lance Corporal Jonathan Woodgate.

Lt Col David Wakefield, of Task Force Helmand, told of the "indefatigable courage" of the latest to die.

He had been providing protection for soldiers who had just deactivated an unexploded insurgent bomb when the attack happened.

Lt Col Wakefield said: "He was part of a patrol to deal with an unexploded insurgent bomb, an operation to protect and save lives.

'Lost comrade'

"The bomb had been successfully dealt with and the soldiers had continued on their foot patrol when a suicide bomber in a car detonated himself near them.

"We have lost another of our comrades, whose indefatigable courage in the face of danger day after day will not be forgotten."

He is the eighth soldier from The Rifles to have died in the conflict this month.

Some 278 British military personnel have now been killed in Afghanistan since operations began in 2001.

The death was not related to Operation Moshtarak, a major offensive against the Taliban involving thousands of British troops.

L/Cpl Jonathan Woodgate
L/Cpl Woodgate had twice rescued comrades under heavy fire

L/Cpl Woodgate, 27, of the Household Cavalry Regiment, was on foot patrol with the Brigade Reconnaissance Force when a grenade was thrown at him from behind a wall.

It was due to be the final patrol of his current tour of duty.

Lt Col Wakefield said at the time: "He was doing what the soldiers of the Brigade Reconnaissance Force have done throughout their tour in Helmand, boldly and relentlessly taking the fight to the insurgents."

Born in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, L/Cpl Woodgate moved to Windsor and joined the Household Cavalry Regiment.

He had survived a 'friendly fire' incident in 2003 which killed fellow soldier Matty Hull.

A film capturing the horrified reactions of the American pilots responsible was shown at the inquest into the death.

L/Cpl Woodgate was left unharmed but with holes in his bullet-proof vest.

His family said in a statement they were "immensely proud" of him, describing him as a "son, brother and friend who was so brave and dedicated to his career".

"We feel so very, very lucky to have had Jo in our lives," the statement said.

He had become like a brother to those around him
Maj Gus MacGillivray

"He was more than just a professional soldier, he was a friendly young man with immense charisma, humour and artistic flair whose laid-back manner belied a great strength of character."

L/Cpl Woodgate had been praised for displaying "outstanding moral and physical courage" while rescuing and treating comrades under heavy fire on two occasions during the tour.

Lt Col Harry Fullerton, commanding officer of the Household Cavalry Regiment, said: "Jo Woodgate was one of our finest soldiers.

"Known affectionately by his friends and comrades as Woody, he was hugely popular, tremendously capable and a truly consummate, professional warrior."

Maj Gus MacGillivray said he was "a most remarkably happy and enthusiastic man, always with a grin and never with a complaint".

"He had become like a brother to those around him."



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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
Yahoo! UK and Ireland Fallen Soldier's Brothers Fly Home To Parents - 3 hrs ago
Sky News Fallen Soldier's Brothers Fly Home - 3 hrs ago
ITN MoD names soldier killed in suicide bomb attack - 13 hrs ago
Daily Star Suicide bomb death soldier named - 18 hrs ago
Scotland on Sunday Online British soldier dies in Afghan suicide bombing - 43 hrs ago


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