UK

Four UK servicemen die in 24 hours

British soldier in Afghanistan
Image caption The deaths come days after a rogue Afghan soldier killed three UK servicemen

Four British servicemen have been killed in separate incidents in Afghanistan in the last 24 hours.

The Ministry of Defence said a soldier from the Royal Logistic Corps died in a blast in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province.

His death comes shortly after those of a Royal Dragoon Guards soldier, a marine and an RAF airman. Their families have been informed.

The UK death toll since operations began in 2001 now stands at 322.

Earlier on Saturday, it was announced that a Royal Dragoon Guards soldier died in a blast in the Nahr-e Saraj district.

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

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

'Greatly missed'

Lt Col James Carr-Smith, spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said the Royal Logistics Corps soldier had been part of a team clearing improvised explosive devices from a major route in southern Nahr-e Saraj.

He said the marine had "died seeking to protect and reassure the local population in and around Sangin" and was a "very brave and courageous man".

He added that the Royal Dragoon Guards 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.

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, Helmand Province, 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.

On Wednesday, Afghan army spokesman Gen Ghulam Farook Parwani identified the rogue soldier as Talib Hussein, from the minority Hazara community which is usually opposed to the Taliban.

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

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