NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Prime Minister David Cameron in tribute to dead soldier

Corporal Michael Pike
Image caption Corporal Michael Pike died in Afghanistan on Friday

The prime minister has paid tribute to Aberdeenshire soldier Corporal Michael Pike who was killed in Afghanistan.

The 26-year-old married Huntly father-of-two, of 4th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland, died in action on Friday.

David Cameron paid tribute as he discussed the latest British casualties at Prime Minister's Questions.

He said they were "dedicated professionals" and added: "We honour their memory."

The soldier's commanding officer earlier described him as "the perfect example of a Highland soldier - loyal and fiercely courageous".

Cpl Pike had been sent with his unit to Pupalzay, along the Highway 601 in the Lashkar Gah area of Helmand province.

He was taking part in an operation to prevent the insurgents from "intimidating the local population" and attacking an Afghan police checkpoint.

His patrol came under fire from rifles and rocket-propelled grenades.

Eyewitnesses said Cpl Pike "didn't go down without a fight" and was offering covering fire when he was killed.

Cpl Pike had been deployed to Afghanistan in April.

He joined the Army as a private in 2002. After a tour of Iraq, he served in Helmand province in 2008.

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