British soldier killed in Afghanistan explosion

British troops in Afghanistan
Image caption A total of 379 British service personnel have died in military operations in Afghanistan since 2001

A British soldier has been killed in an explosion in southern Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence has said.

The soldier, from 1st Battalion The Rifles, died while on foot patrol in the Shaparak area of the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province on Friday.

Maj Rolf Kurth, of Task Force Helmand, said the soldier had been taking part in a community involvement project.

The soldier's family has been told. A total of 379 UK troops have died in Afghan military operations since 2001.

Maj Kurth said: "It is my sad duty to inform you of the death of a soldier from 1st Battalion The Rifles in the Shaparak area of the Nahr-e Saraj District of Helmand province.

"The soldier was part of a foot patrol promoting a local community engagement project when he was killed in an explosion.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this difficult time."

The soldier was killed by an improvised explosive device (IED).

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