British rifleman killed in Afghanistan

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A British rifleman has been killed in an explosion in southern Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence announced Monday, the third British death in three days.

The soldier, from 1st Battalion The Rifles, was killed Sunday by an improvised explosive device (IED) while on patrol in the Nahr-e Saraj district of the restive Helmand Province.

The announcement means that two British soldiers were killed Sunday, as a Royal Marine was shot and killed while on patrol in the same district. A corporal from The Highlanders infantry regiment was also killed in action on Friday.

The rifleman killed Sunday died in the Haji Kareen area of Nahr-e Saraj.

"The soldier was part of a foot patrol, supporting an Afghan National Security Forces operation to clear one of the last remaining insurgent safe havens in central Helmand, when he was fatally wounded by an IED," said Task Force Helmand spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Tim Purbrick.

The death brings to 371 the number of British troops killed since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001. Of these, at least 327 were killed through hostile action. Some 23 British troops have died this year.

© 2011 AFP

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