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UK soldier killed in suicide blast

A British soldier has been killed in a suicide blast while on patrol in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence has announced.

The "hugely experienced" soldier from the 3rd Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Staffords) died from an explosion during a vehicle-borne suicide attack, the MoD said.

He was taking part in a patrol in the Kamparak area, 40km north east of the provincial capital Lashkar Gah in Helmand Province.

The death takes to 446 the number of UK service members who have lost their lives since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001 and is the eighth this year.

Next of kin have been informed.

Lieutenant Colonel Hywel Lewis, the spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said: "A hugely experienced soldier has tragically died while serving with his comrades in Afghanistan.

"He commanded great respect throughout his regiment. Those who served alongside him were privileged to operate with a highly professional soldier who led by example.

"Our prayers and thoughts are with his family at this extremely difficult time."

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