31/03/2008

Blast Kills Marines In Afghanistan

The Royal Marine Corps has suffered two more casualties.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed today that the British naval personnel were killed in an explosion in Afghanistan.

The members of 40 Commando Royal Marines, were on a routine patrol on Sunday when the pair were hit by what is thought to be a roadside bomb.

Their deaths in Helmand province bring the number of UK service personnel killed in Afghanistan to 91, all but five of them in the last two years.

Next of kin have been informed of the latest two deaths.

The spokesman for Helmand task force said they were investigating the cause of the blast, which could not be established last night, but said that it is likely to have been a mine or an improvised explosive device, which could have been detonated remotely or by a pressure plate.

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said one of the soldiers was pronounced dead on arrival at Camp Bastion and the second died shortly afterwards.

An MoD spokesman said: "It is with much sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that two soldiers serving with 40 Commando Royal Marines have been killed in an explosion on Sunday 30th March 2008, in southern Afghanistan.

"Just after 4.53pm, local time, the soldiers were conducting a patrol in the vicinity of Kajaki, Helmand Province, when the vehicle they were travelling in was caught in an explosion."

The deaths are on foot of another British solider being killed in Iraq last week. The MoD said that the soldier died as a result of gunshot wounds sustained during a firefight in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

See: British Soldier Killed In Iraq

(BMcC)

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