British soldier killed in explosion in Afghanistan

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UK military personnel in Afghanistan
Image caption,
Some 294 UK servicemen and women have been killed in Afghanistan

A British soldier has been killed in an explosion in southern Afghanistan.

The soldier, from the 2nd Battalion The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, died in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province on Wednesday.

Next of kin have been informed. The death brings the number of UK service personnel killed in Afghanistan to 294.

Also on Wednesday, four US soldiers died when a Nato helicopter was shot down in Helmand. The Taliban claimed it had shot down the aircraft.

Folowing the UK soldier's death, Lt Col James Carr-Smith said: "He was involved in an operation that was seeking to improve freedom of movement for ordinary Afghans when tragically he was killed in an explosion.

"He will be sorely missed by us all but his courage in the face of danger will not be forgotten."

The serviceman had been attached to 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment.

On Tuesday, another British soldier died during a gun battle in Helmand. The soldier was from 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, attached to 4th Regiment Royal Artillery.

The helicopter crashed into the Sangin district bazaar after coming under fire on Wednesday morning.

The Taliban said its fighters had shot down the aircraft with a rocket-propelled grenade.