Page last updated at 13:13 GMT, Friday, 14 November 2008

Afghan blast kills Irish marine

Royal Marines
The marines had been on patrol with Afghan forces

A Royal Marine from County Mayo has been killed in southern Afghanistan.

Robert McKibben, 32, from Westport, died alongside a fellow marine after their patrol was hit by an explosion on Wednesday.

The family's parish priest, Fr Michael Mannion, said the community was "shocked and sad" at the news.

"They're a lovely family, very popular and well-liked. Robert had his life ahead of him and he was doing his work. It's just very sad."

The two marines, from UK Landing Force Command Support Group, died in the blast in the Garmsir district of Helmand province.

The total of UK military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan has now reached 300 - 124 of them in Afghanistan.

Cdr Paula Rowe, of Task Force Helmand, said: "This is a tragic blow to us all in the task force, but our loss is nothing compared to that of their families and loved ones."

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