UK marine killed in Afghanistan

Image caption,
Nearly 1,300 British personnel have been injured during the conflict

A Royal Marine from 40 Commando has been killed in an explosion in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence has said.

The marine was killed in the Sangin district of Helmand Province on Monday night. His family has been informed.

He had just returned from a patrol when the incident occurred.

The death takes the total number of UK service personnel killed as a result of the Afghanistan conflict since 2001 to 301.

He had been taking part in a reassurance patrol to improve security in the local area.

Spokesman for Task Force Helmand, Lt Col James Carr-Smith, said: "He had been improving the lives of local Afghans and helping to protect them from the insurgency. He died a marine.

"He will be greatly missed and his sacrifice will not be forgotten. We will always remember him."

About 10,000 British military personnel are in Afghanistan as part of a 45-nation Nato-led force. About 4,000 British troops are involved in Operation Moshtarak, aimed at shoring up government control in southern Helmand.

It was nearly seven years before the UK's dead in Afghanistan numbered 100 but the past two years have seen an increasing casualty rate.

Last year was particularly bloody, largely because of the insurgents' increasingly sophisticated roadside bombs, with the 200th death marked in August.

The grim milestone of 300 was reached 10 months later on 20 June.