A British soldier was shot dead in Afghanistan during a firefight with enemy forces, the Ministry of Defence in London has confirmed.
The solder was on duty in the restive southern Helmand Province.
"It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that a soldier from the 2nd Battalion the Parachute Regiment has died," the MoD said in a statement on Friday.
"This morning the soldier was part of a routine patrol operating in the vicinity of Forward Operating Base Gibraltar when they came into contact with enemy forces.
"In the ensuing firefight a soldier from 2 Para was shot in the head and killed instantly."
Lieutenant Colonel David Reynolds, spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said, "Until you have experienced the death of a family member it is hard to absorb the pain that this soldier's family, friends and comrades feel.
"His family are in the thoughts of everyone in Task Force Helmand and hopefully that will bring some comfort to them.