England

Afghanistan death soldiers Andrew Roberts and Ratu Silibaravi repatriated

Corporal Andrew Roberts, Private Ratu Silibaravi
Image caption The soldiers were members of a bomb disposal search team

The bodies of two British soldiers killed in southern Afghanistan have been repatriated.

Cpl Andrew Roberts and Pte Ratu Silibaravi died in a mortar rocket attack in Helmand province.

The soldiers, both 32, were from the Royal Logistic Corps, attached to 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh Battlegroup.

The cortege from RAF Brize Norton passed the Memorial Garden near Carterton before travelling to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

Both soldiers were deployed to Afghanistan on 11 March as part of an advanced search team in the operations squadron of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Search Task Forces.

Clearing ditches

They were members of 23 Pioneer Regiment, based in Bicester, Oxfordshire.

Their team was involved in search operations to clear irrigation ditches and enhance the security of operating bases, as well as providing support to patrolling troops.

Cpl Roberts, from Middlesbrough, was a section commander and joined the Army in 1998. He had previously served on operations in Bosnia and Iraq and was on his second tour of Afghanistan.

Image caption Cpl Roberts was from Middlesbrough and Pte Silibaravi was originally from Fiji

He leaves behind his girlfriend, Paula Ewers and three children who he had with his estranged wife Lindsey, Jessica, six, Kyle, five, and Kayla, three.

Fiji-born Pte Silibaravi joined the Army in 2002 and had previously served in Iraq in 2003 and Afghanistan in 2006 and 2009.

He also undertook duties at Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, St James's Palace and the Tower of London in 2008.

Private Silibaravi leaves behind his parents and brother and sister, who live in Fiji.

A total of 412 UK service personnel have died since military operations began in Afghanistan in 2001.

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