A British soldier who went missing from his base in southern Afghanistan has been found dead with gunshot wounds, the Ministry of Defence said.
Prime Minister David Cameron, who is in Afghanistan, was said to be "deeply saddened" after the body of the serviceman, from The Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, was found after a massive manhunt.
He had been reported missing from a military checkpoint in the early hours of Monday morning, and Taliban groups have claimed responsibility for killing him.
Nato spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Tim Purbrick, said: "He had suffered gunshot wounds. His exact cause of death is still to be established and the circumstances surrounding his disappearance and death are currently under investigation.
"It would not be appropriate to comment further at this time. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends."
Downing Street sources said the Prime Minister was "deeply saddened" by news that the soldier had become the British armed forces' 375th fatality during the decade-long campaign.
The disappearance forced Mr Cameron to abandon part of an unannounced visit to the country so resources could be deployed to the search.
Before the death was confirmed, the premier admitted the incident was "disturbing".
But he said the "big picture" in Afghanistan showed cause for optimism, and the country was moving into a "new phase". He also reiterated that there would be no movement in the 2015 deadline for the UK's combat role to end.
"What happened was obviously a very disturbing incident," the premier said.