British bomb disposal expert killed in Afghanistan: ministry

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A British bomb disposal expert was killed in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday when an improvised explosive device went off as he was clearing a road, the Ministry of Defence in London said.

The soldier, part of a specialist group tasked with tackling the threat from IEDs laid by Taliban insurgents, was caught in the blast in Lashkar Gah district, in troubled Helmand Province. His next of kin had been informed.

The death of the soldier, from 23 Pioneer Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps, brings to 348 the number of British troops killed since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001.

The rate of British troops being killed has dropped since they handed over control of the flashpoint Helmand market town of Sangin to US forces in September.

Britain has around 9,500 troops in Afghanistan, largely battling Taliban militants in Helmand.

© 2010 AFP

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