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300th victim of Afghan war named

The 300th member of British forces to die in the Afghan war is due to be named.

The Royal Marine, from 40 Commando, died from his wounds in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham on Sunday morning with his family by his side.

He was injured in a blast in the Sangin district of Helmand province in southern Afghanistan eight days earlier, the Ministry of Defence said.

Major Renny Bulmer, spokesman for 40 Commando, based in Taunton, Somerset, said: "Our thoughts are with his immediate family who were with him at the hospital. His courage and sacrifice will not be forgotten. We will remember him."

He was the 55th UK fatality this year and the seventh member of 40 Commando killed since the Royal Marines took command of the notoriously violent Sangin area in April.

Prime Minister David Cameron led tributes to the sacrifices made by the 300 British servicemen and women who have died since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001.

He said: "It is desperately sad news. Another family with such grief and pain and loss. Of course the 300th death is no more or less tragic than the 299 that came before.

"But it is a moment, I think, for the whole country to reflect on the incredible service and sacrifice and dedication that our armed services give on our behalf. We are paying a high price for keeping our country safe, for making our world a safer place, and we should keep asking why we are there and how long we must be there?"

The UK currently has about 10,000 troops in Afghanistan, of whom 8,000 are based in Helmand, the country's most dangerous province.

Since becoming Prime Minister, Mr Cameron has stressed that British forces will not remain in Afghanistan "a day longer than is necessary".

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