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Marine killed in Sangin to be named

The latest British serviceman killed in Afghanistan will be named on Saturday.

The Royal Marine, from 40 Commando, died while on a joint foot patrol in the Sangin area with Afghan soldiers on Thursday evening. His family has been told.

He was the 101st member of UK forces killed in the deadly region, which Britain will hand over to the US Marines at the end of this year.

His death was announced as the previous soldier killed in Sangin was named as Bombardier Sam Robinson, of 5th Regiment Royal Artillery. The 31-year-old, from Carmarthen, Wales, died on foot patrol on Thursday - during what was his fourth operational tour of Afghanistan.

His family said: "Sam was doing the job that he loved and was proud to be doing it. We are all very proud of him and we will miss him forever."

A physical training instructor, the soldier - nicknamed "Robbo" - was a keen swimmer and hill walker, particularly in the Welsh mountains.

Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hayhurst, Commanding Officer 5th Regiment Royal Artillery, said: "This courageous man held the respect of all that knew him; his strength of character, professionalism, and outright robustness made him a force to be reckoned with, and he was the perfect role model for the rest of the regiment and in particular the young members of 4/73 Battery.

"He was special and will be sorely missed. His tragic loss has come as a shock to us all and my greatest sympathy goes out to his family and to his friends."

Nearly a third of the 314 British deaths in Afghanistan since 2001 have happened in Sangin, currently home to the Royal Marines and supporting units of 40 Commando Battle Group.

Defence Secretary Liam Fox confirmed on Wednesday that UK forces would be withdrawn from the district in the autumn. A US Marines battle group will be moved from Nimruz Province to take control of the area. The handover will leave the British military effort concentrated in central Helmand, which covers a relatively small area but is home to a third of the province's population.

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