Two UK soldiers, one RAF serviceman die in Afghanistan

Lt Col James Carr-Smith: "It has been a bad week for us"

Two British servicemen have been killed in separate explosions and an RAF serviceman has died in a road crash in southern Afghanistan.

On Saturday, a Royal Dragoon Guards soldier died in a blast in Nahr-e Saraj district.

A marine from 40 Commando Royal Marines was killed while on foot patrol in Sangin district on Friday.

The third fatality, an airman from the Royal Air Force Regiment, also died on Friday, in a crash while on patrol.

All next of kin have been told.

The deaths bring the number of UK servicemen killed in Afghanistan this week to seven, taking the UK death toll in the campaign since 2001 to 321.

Spokesman for Task Force Helmand, Lt Col James Carr-Smith said the marine had "died seeking to protect and reassure the local population in and around Sangin".

Col Carr-Smith said the soldier killed on Saturday had been operating as part of a foot patrol "providing security to enable new roads and security bases to be constructed" when the explosion happened.

"His courage, sacrifice and selfless commitment will never be forgotten.

"We will remember them," Col Carr-Smith added.

The airman was part of a vehicle patrol that was conducting security operations in an area north of Camp Bastion, the main British military base in Afghanistan, when he was killed in an accident.

"He will be remembered by his many friends. He will be greatly missed by his many friends and his actions will not be forgotten," the colonel said.

Manhunt

Meanwhile, a major manhunt continues for a rogue Afghan soldier who killed three members of the Royal Gurkha Rifles at a base in Nahr-e Saraj on Tuesday.

Maj James Joshua Bowman was shot as he slept, while Lt Neal Turkington and Cpl Arjun Purja Pun died when a rocket-propelled grenade was fired into the command centre.

A man who contacted the BBC saying he carried out the killings, claimed he was angry at the conduct of British troops in Helmand and accused them of killing civilians, including children.

He said he had acted alone, but had joined the Taliban after his attack.

The Ministry of Defence said it could not comment on the man's claims, but denied troops were deliberately killing civilians.

Also on Tuesday, Marine Matthew Harrison from 40 Commando Royal Marines was fatally shot while on foot patrol in Sangin.

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