UK

British soldier found dead in Estonia, Ministry of Defence confirms

Fus Sam Brownridge Image copyright MOD
Image caption Fus Sam Brownridge had been serving in Estonia

A British soldier has been found dead in Estonia.

Fusilier Sam Brownridge, from the First Battalion, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, died on Sunday. He was off duty at the time.

The Ministry of Defence said it brought "great sadness" to announce his death.

Fus Brownridge was among about 1,000 British troops deployed in Estonia as part of Nato's increased military presence near the border with Russia.

The First Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers is based in Tidworth in Wiltshire.

In a statement, the MoD said: "It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must announce the death of a soldier from The First Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

"Fusilier Sam Brownridge died of a non-battle injury while deployed on Operation Cabrit in Estonia on Sunday.

"Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this tragic time.

"A full investigation is under way and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage."

Theresa Bubbear, the British ambassador to Estonia, shared a tweet expressing her "deepest condolences" to Fus Brownridge's family, friends and colleagues.

The UK is playing a leading role in the alliance's Baltic mission. Operation Cabrit is the name of the UK deployment.

Last December, Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited the Tapa military base near Estonia's capital Tallinn, to serve Christmas lunch to the British soldiers based there.

He told the troops: "What you're doing is incredibly important because the reason everybody in our country can have Christmas in peace and security is because of what you're doing here."