Soldier dies in Afghan mine blast
A British soldier has been killed by a mine explosion in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said.
The soldier, of B Company 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, stepped on the mine while on patrol in Lashkar Gar at 1100 local time on Saturday.
Next of kin have been informed. Since 2001, 110 British personnel have died in Afghanistan – 13 since 8 June.
A soldier who died in Afghanistan on Friday in a vehicle accident has been named as Warrant Officer Dan Shirley.
WO Shirley, from 13 Air Assault Support Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, died when a patrol vehicle overturned.
His commanding officer, Lt Col RJ McNeil, said WO Shirley’s death had come as a “huge shock” to the regiment.
“He was a perfect role model for young soldiers. He was fit, irrepressibly enthusiastic and superbly professional,” he said.
An MoD spokesman said the soldier killed by a mine on Saturday had been part of a vehicle checkpoint patrol operating in the Lashkar Gar area.
They were on patrol when “they received a report of an rocket-propelled grenade attack on a civilian aircraft at Bost airfield in Lashkar Gar”, the spokesman said.
“When investigating this they dismounted their vehicles and what is believed to have been a legacy anti-personnel mine detonated, killing the soldier instantly.”
Recently, the heavily out-gunned Taleban have shifted away from head-on confrontation to the use of suicide bombs and road-side devices.
Defence Secretary Des Browne admitted the British military had suffered heavily due to the change in tactics.
“We have had a very, very, very bad month. It’s because if the way they [the Taleban] have changed their tactics,” he said.
“There is a degree of trust in this, but people need to trust that those changes in tactics are a consequence of our progress rather than as a consequence of the Taleban winning.”
Of the British troops killed in Afghanistan, 13 have died since 8 June including the first woman to lose her life, Cpl Sarah Bryant, 26.