British soldier killed by Afghanistan IED blast
A soldier died in a British hospital Thursday after being fatally wounded by an improvised explosive device in southern Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence announced.
The soldier's death brought to 391 the number of British troops killed since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001. Of these, at least 347 were killed in combat.
He is the 43rd to die this year, making 2011 the fourth-worst year for British troop fatalities in Afghanistan.
The soldier, from 35 Engineer Regiment, Royal Engineers, was on a reconnaissance task in the Nahr-e Saraj region of central Helmand Province on Tuesday when he was caught in the IED blast.
He was evacuated to Camp Bastion, the main British forces base in Afghanistan, and then flown to a specialist military hospital unit in Birmingham, central England.
He died in the facility surrounded by his family.
Britain has around 9,500 troops in Afghanistan, making it the second-largest contributor to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force after the United States.
They are based in central Helmand, battling Taliban insurgents and training local security forces.
© 2011 AFP