Page last updated at 21:35 GMT, Friday, 30 January 2009

UK soldier killed in Afghanistan

British army troops in Afghanistan
The British army has been on operation in Afghanistan since 2001

A British soldier has been killed in a firefight in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan, the MoD has said.

The soldier, from 1st Battalion The Rifles, died from injuries sustained while on a joint UK and Afghan National Army patrol north of Musa Qala.

Commander Paula Rowe, spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said: "The pain and sense of loss at the death of this brave soldier will be deeply felt.

"Our thoughts are with his friends, family and those who served with him."

The soldier's family have asked for a 24-hour period of grace before further details are released, the Ministry of Defence said.

His death takes the total number of British servicemen and women killed since the start of operations began in 2001 to 143.

He is the sixth to die in Afghanistan so far this year.

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