09/10/2009

221st Soldier Dies In Afghanistan

As the Queen remembered veterans of the Iraq conflict today in London, news came through of a further tragedy on the current 'frontline.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced that a soldier, who was serving with 1st Battalion The Coldstream Guards, has died in an explosion near Camp Bastion, in central Helmand, Afghanistan.

The MoD said the soldier's next of kin had been informed.

That brings the total number of UK troops killed since the start of operations in Afghanistan in October 2001 to 221.

The soldier was the second British serviceman to be killed in a week in explosions close to Camp Bastion, the UK's main base in southern Afghanistan. Senior Aircraftsman Marcin Wojtak died on October 1.
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Yesterday, in Northern Ireland, a serviceman based in the Province was buried from a local chapel.

Sergeant Stuart McGrath was killed when a Taliban bomb ripped through his foot patrol in Helmand Province last month.

He was the 13th Co Down-based soldier to be killed in action over the past six months in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Downing Street says Gordon Brown will make a statement about Afghanistan to the House of Commons next Wednesday, but his spokesman refused to be drawn on reports that an extra 500 troops will be deployed.

See: Queen Honours Iraq Troops

See: Taliban Victim Buried

(BMcC/GK)

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