UK soldier dies in Afghanistan blast

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Generic image of British soldiers in Afghanistan
Image caption,
Some 299 UK personnel have been killed since the conflict began

A soldier from the Royal Dragoon Guards has been killed in an explosion in Afghanistan, the MoD has said.

He had been guarding comrades as they cleared land in front of a checkpoint in the Nahr-e Saraj district, Helmand, when he was hit by the blast on Friday.

The soldier is the 299th member of the UK armed forces to have died in Afghanistan since the conflict began in 2001. His family have been told.

Colleagues described him as a "courageous and dedicated soldier".

Task Force Helmand spokesman Lt Col James Carr-Smith said: "He was providing security for a patrol that was conducting a clearance operation when tragically he was struck by an explosion."

"He died doing his duty. He will be greatly missed and his actions will not be forgotten. We will remember him."

There are 9,500 British forces personnel in Afghanistan as part of a Nato-led force, with about 8,000 of them based in Helmand.

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