Two UK soldiers killed in southern Afghanistan

UK troops on patrol in Afghanistan
Image caption Both soldiers were killed on Thursday

Two soldiers have been killed while serving in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence has said.

A soldier from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers died after an explosion in southern Afghanistan on Thursday.

Another, from the Parachute Regiment, was fatally wounded by small arms fire in Helmand Province on the same day.

The next of kin for both soldiers have been told.

The first soldier, serving with the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, was operating in the Gereshk Valley area in Helmand.

Lt Col Tim Purbrick, spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said: "During an operation to detain an insurgent, the soldier was working to recover a vehicle which had been damaged in an explosion when he was fatally wounded by an explosive device.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends."

The number of British military deaths in operations in Afghanistan since 2001 now stands at 373.

News of the soldiers' deaths come as mourners prepare to pay their respects to a Military Cross holder also killed in an explosion in Afghanistan.

Marine Sam Alexander, 28, from Plymouth, was killed on 27 May, along with his troop commander, Lt Ollie Augustin.

His funeral is due to take place at the Minster Church of St Andrew's in Plymouth.

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