UK soldier killed in Afghanistan explosion

Image caption,
Next of kin have been informed of the soldier's death

A British soldier has been killed in an explosion in southern Afghanistan.

The soldier from the 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment died in the blast on Saturday afternoon in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province.

Army spokesman Lt Col James Carr-Smith said: "Selfless to the end, he will be missed by his many friends. His sacrifice will not be forgotten."

Next of kin have been informed. A total of 295 UK military personnel have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001.

The soldier, part of 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles Battle Group, died following a security patrol.

"He was part of a team that was improving the security around one of the military check-points when he was struck by an explosion," said Lt Col Carr-Smith.