Tributes paid to bomb blast soldier
A British Army engineer working with special forces in Afghanistan has been killed by a Taliban roadside bomb.
Corporal Matthew Thomas, of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, died when the vehicle he was driving was hit by an improvised explosive device in the Garmsir district of Helmand province on Saturday.
It is understood that Cpl Thomas, known as "Tommo", was attached to the Special Forces Support Group.
His comrades paid tribute to an "intelligent, dedicated and courageous" soldier.
A spokesman for the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers said: "Though still a young man, he was a natural leader setting the highest standards, showing enormous moral strength, and nurturing those under his command at every turn. His ready smile, natural exuberance and 'can do' attitude were much prized by all with whom he worked, and were testament to how he loved his profession.
"He revelled in the responsibility, challenges and opportunities presented to him as a vehicle mechanic on operations in Afghanistan.
"And for their part the troops whom he supported so ably wholeheartedly embraced 'Tommo', as he was fondly called.
"He died alongside these comrades, with whom such a bond had been built and who meant so much to him. His passing is a sad day for us but we must count ourselves privileged to have served with such a talented, rounded and inspirational man."
The MoD said it was not releasing any more details about the soldier.
Defence Secretary Liam Fox said: "Corporal Matthew Thomas has made the ultimate sacrifice protecting the national security of our country. His colleagues have praised a dedicated and courageous man, who was a professional and inspirational soldier. I was deeply saddened to learn of his death, and I extend my sincere condolences to his family and loved ones at this difficult time."