UK soldier killed in Afghan suicide attack named

WO2 Ian Michael Fisher
Image caption WO2 Fisher is the eighth British soldier to be killed in the country this year

A British soldier killed in Afghanistan has been named as Warrant Officer class 2 Ian Michael Fisher.

The 42-year-old, from Barking, east London, was part of the 3rd Battalion The Mercian Regiment.

The Ministry of Defence said he died in a suicide attack on the final day of an operation to disrupt insurgents in the Kamparack area, 25 miles (40km) north-east of Lashkar Gah in Helmand.

He is 446th UK services member to die in the country since the war began.

His widow Emma said: "Ian will always be the centre of my life, he will be remembered as a doting father, loving husband and a true professional soldier.

"He loved being a soldier, that's what he lived for. We are all so proud and always will be."

He had two sons, aged seven and five.

'Straight talking'

WO2 Fisher was a physics and geology graduate who joined the Territorial Army in February 1993 with B Company, 3 Staffords, based in Stoke-on-Trent.

His colleagues described him as "the epitome of an Infantry Sergeant Major, straight-talking and obsessive in his pursuit of excellence and gaining the most from his subordinates while ensuring their wellbeing", the MoD said.

He had completed four previous tours - one to Northern Ireland, two to Iraq and a previous tour of Afghanistan in 2011.

His vehicle was struck by what the MoD described as a "suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device" during a meeting with Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).

British troops are due to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014, when all Nato combat operations are scheduled to finish, although a small number will remain in support roles.

The number of British troops in Afghanistan was reduced to 9,000 before the end of 2012 and is set to fall to 5,200 by the end of 2013.

British troops are now stationed at five bases - down from a peak of more than 130 - and rarely go on patrol.

Last month, the 7th Armoured Brigade, the Desert Rats, became the last major British force deployed to Helmand.

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