Soldier killed in Helmand named

Cpl Thomas
Image caption Cpl Thomas was widely respected for his all-round professionalism, an army spokesman said

A soldier killed in Afghanistan on Saturday, when his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb, has been named by the Ministry of Defence.

Cpl Matthew Thomas, who was from Swansea and served in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, died in the Garmsir region of Helmand.

A corps spokesman paid tribute to the 24-year-old's intelligence and courage.

He said he had been widely respected and admired for his professionalism and "deep competence" as an engineer.

"Though still a young man, he was a natural leader, setting the highest standards, showing enormous moral strength and nurturing those under his command at every turn," he added.

"His ready smile, natural exuberance and 'can do' attitude were much prized by all with whom he worked, and were testament to how he loved his profession."

Defence Secretary Liam Fox said Cpl Thomas had made the "ultimate sacrifice protecting the national security of our country".

His death takes the total number of British service personnel killed since operations began in Afghanistan in 2001 to 338.