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Last Updated: Monday, 21 August 2006, 20:25 GMT 21:25 UK
Gun battle death soldier is named
Cpl Bryan Budd

The Army has named the British soldier killed in a gun battle with Taleban forces in southern Afghanistan.

Cpl Bryan Budd, 29, from Whitby, North Yorkshire, of the 3rd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, was killed in Helmand province at 0830 BST on Sunday.

Three other British soldiers received minor injuries in the incident, the Ministry of Defence said.

Cpl Budd had a two-year-old daughter and his wife is expecting their second child in September.

His wife, Lance Corporal Lorena Budd, is currently on maternity leave from the army.

Twenty UK armed forces personnel have died in Afghanistan since 2001.

"[Cpl Budd] died as a result of injuries sustained during the contact. Three other British soldiers received minor injuries," an MoD spokesman said.

Softly spoken

The MoD said Cpl Budd was softly spoken and a calm character whose "keenest passion" was his wife and daughter.

He was described as a shining example to those under his command, with great courage and a quick sense of humour.

He had been in the Army for 10 years serving in Yugoslavia, Sierra Leone, Macedonia, Afghanistan and Iraq. He was about to be promoted to platoon sergeant when he died.

Bryan died doing the job he loved, leading his men from the front - where he always was
Lt Col Stuart Tootal, CO

His commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Tootal, said he was a natural leader.

"Cpl Bryan Budd was an outstanding young man who had quickly risen through the ranks in the regiment.

"Bryan died doing the job he loved, leading his men from the front - where he always was.

"Bryan was proud to call himself a paratrooper and we were proud to stand beside him."

Persistent attacks

The 3rd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, is based at Colchester Garrison in Essex.

Earlier, Defence Secretary Des Browne offered his condolences to the family and friends of Cpl Budd.

Three other British soldiers received minor injuries in the incident. Cpl Budd's death brings the number of British forces personnel who have died in Afghanistan since the start of operations in November 2001 to 20.

He is the latest victim of persistent attacks on British troops who are in Afghanistan to help rebuilding and to tackle terrorism and heroin cultivation.

They were serving as part of a multinational Nato force in the lawless south of the country.

Afghanistan is going through its bloodiest period since the fall of the Taleban five years ago. Much of the fighting has been concentrated in the south.

'Drawn into fights'

BBC world affairs correspondent Roland Buerk said the British Army and its coalition allies were trying to bring security to entire districts in Afghanistan.

"The plan was to make major centres safe, to bring in economic development, and hope to turn the local people away from whatever loyalty they had to the Taleban," he said.

"But it's just not worked out like that. They've been drawn to fighting in remote districts and they've been taking casualties."

Helmand, in the southwest of the country and Afghanistan's top opium producer, sees regular deadly violence blamed on Taleban fighters or drug lords.

Although the Taleban were ousted from power five years ago, supporters have this year stepped up attacks on foreign and Afghan troops.

Scenes of recent fighting in Afghanistan

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