British soldier killed in Afghanistan bomb blast: ministry

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A British soldier was killed in a bomb blast in southern Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence said Monday, taking the country's military death toll there since the 2001 invasion to 338.

Corporal Matthew Thomas of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers died on Saturday when the vehicle he was driving in the Garmsir district of Helmand province was hit by an improvised explosive device, the ministry said.

Defence Secretary Liam Fox said Thomas had "made the ultimate sacrifice protecting the national security of our country."

Britain has nearly 10,000 troops in Afghanistan, the second largest contingent after the United States, with most of them deployed in insurgency-ravaged Helmand.

News of the latest military death came as security forces were hunting Monday for a British aid worker and three Afghans who were kidnapped in eastern Afghanistan.

© 2010 AFP

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