UK

British soldier dies in Afghanistan explosion

British troops in Afghanistan
Image caption A total of 341 British troops have been killed in Afghanistan since operations began in 2001

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

The serviceman was from 33 Engineer Regiment, serving with the Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Task Force.

A UK forces spokesman said the soldier had been carrying out a "dangerous and unforgiving, but essential role".

The soldier's family has been told. A total of 341 British troops have died in Afghanistan since 2001.

Lt Col David Eastman, spokesman for the UK's Task Force Helmand operation in Afghanistan, said: "The soldier was caught in an explosion whilst serving as part of the Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Task Force, engaged in vital work securing an area in Nahr-e Saraj for the protection of local Helmandis.

"His was a dangerous and unforgiving, but essential role, and in protecting the soldiers and friends he served with, and the people of Helmand, he has paid the ultimate price.

"His bravery and courage are beyond question. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family."

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