UK

British soldier killed in Afghanistan explosion named

A British soldier killed by an explosion in Afghanistan has been named by the Ministry of Defence.

Bombardier Samuel Robinson, 31, from 5th Regiment Royal Artillery died while on foot patrol in Sangin on Thursday.

The soldier, from Carmarthen, was the 313th member of the UK Armed Forces to die in Afghanistan since 2001 and the 100th death to occur in Sangin.

Bombadier Robinson's family said they were "very proud" of him and "would miss him forever".

He was on his fourth operational tour of Afghanistan after joining the Army in 1999 at the age of 20, the Ministry of Defence said.

His family said in a statement released by the Ministry of Defence: "Sam was doing the job that he loved and was proud to be doing it."

'Role model'

Lt Col Richard Hayhurst RA, commanding officer 5th Regiment Royal Artillery said: "This courageous man held the respect of all that knew him, his strength of character, professionalism, and outright robustness made him a force to be reckoned with, and he was the perfect role model for the rest of the regiment.

"He was special and will be sorely missed. His tragic loss has come as a shock to us all and my greatest sympathy goes out to his family and to his friends."

Capt Lee Chapman, operations officer with the special observation post battery called him a "consummate professional".

"He will be greatly missed by the patrol and the special observer 'family' and will always be remembered for his dedication, loyalty and his love for his beloved Wales."

Secretary of State for Defence Dr Liam Fox said: "I extend my deepest sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of Bombardier Samuel Joseph Robinson.

"Those that served with him talk of a highly courageous and extremely professional soldier. The fact that he volunteered to return to Afghanistan so shortly after his last tour shows true bravery and commitment to his duty."

Mr Fox said on Wednesday that about 1,000 Royal Marines are expected to leave Sangin and be redeployed to central Helmand by the end of 2010.

A US Marines battle group will be moved from Nimruz Province to take control in Sangin, leaving the British military effort concentrated in central Helmand.