British soldier dies from Afghan blast wounds

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A British soldier injured by a bomb blast during a patrol in troubled southern Afghanistan died of his injuries in hospital on Friday, the Ministry of Defence said.

The trooper from the 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment was severely wounded in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province on Wednesday and passed away in hospital in England.

The death brings to 360 the number of British troops killed since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001 to topple the Taliban regime. It was the 11th British fatality this year.

"The soldier was on a patrol to investigate insurgent activity in the Nahr-e Saraj district when he was severely wounded by an improvised explosive device," said Lieutenant Colonel Tim Purbrick, spokesman for Task Force Helmand.

"He was immediately medically evacuated by helicopter to the military hospital in Camp Bastion and subsequently aero-medically evacuated to the Queen Elizabeth NHS Hospital in Birmingham where, very sadly, he died with his family by his side."

Britain has about 9,500 troops in Afghanistan, making it the second-largest contributor after the United States to the NATO-led coalition. They are based at Camp Bastion in Helmand.

© 2011 AFP

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