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Last Updated: Monday June 12 2006 06:51 GMT

UK soldier killed in Afghanistan

One soldier has died and two others have been seriously injured after a fight with the Taleban in Afghanistan.

It's the first time a solder has died in action since 3,000 British troops were sent to the country in May as part of a peacekeeping force.

The soldier died after a mobile patrol unit in the Helmand area was involved in a gun battle with Taleban forces.

British Defence Secretary Des Browne has sent a message of sympathy to the soldier's family.

Mr Browne said: "I wish to express my sincere condolences to the families and friends of those killed and injured in this attack.

"My thoughts are with them and those troops continuing their difficult task of helping to ensure Afghanistan remains secure."

Fighting rebels

The Taleban used to rule the country during the late 1990s. They were removed from power by the US and Britain during the Afghanistan war in 2001.

British troops are in Afghanistan to help the Afghan National Army (ANA) fight rebel groups based around the Pakistan border in the southern part of Afghanistan.

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