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British soldier killed in Afghanistan blast

world Updated: Nov 22, 2011 11:12 IST

AFP
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A British soldier was killed in an improvised explosive device blast in southern Afghanistan's restive Helmand province, the ministry of defence said.

The soldier, from the 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, was a member of a joint foot patrol with Afghan National Security Forces in the Nahr-e Saraj area when he was killed in the IED explosion on Sunday.

"Our deepest condolences are extended to his family at this very difficult time and all of our thoughts and prayers are with them," said spokesman for Task Force Helmand, Lieutenant Colonel Gordon Mackenzie.

The soldier's family have been informed.

The death brought to 389 the number of British troops killed since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001.

Of these, at least 344 were killed in combat. He is the 41st to die this year.

Britain has around 9,500 troops in Afghanistan, making it the second-largest contributor to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.

They are based in central Helmand, battling Taliban insurgents and training local security forces.