A British soldier has died following a bomb blast in southern Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence has said.
The serviceman, from Colchester-based 216 Parachute Signal Squadron, Royal Corps of Signals, died from injuries sustained on Tuesday.
He had been patrolling the Nahr-e Saraj district in Helmand when his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb.
Lt Col David Eastman said the soldier's death was a "bitter blow". His family has been informed.
There have been 347 UK service personnel killed in operations in Afghanistan since 2001.
Lt Col Eastman, spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said the soldier had been "bringing security and stability to an area previously dominated by insurgent intimidation" when his vehicle hit the bomb.
"His loss is a bitter blow, especially during this season of peace and goodwill," he said.
"He died making a better, safer life for others; his sacrifice will not be forgotten."