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Prayers for six killed soldiers

Prayers have been said and candles lit for the six soldiers killed in Afghanistan at a sombre service attended by hundreds of people paying their respects.

Halifax Minster in Yorkshire filled with people of all ages, many among them old soldiers proudly wearing their campaign medals, to remember the men who died when a Taliban roadside bomb destroyed their Warrior armoured vehicle in Helmand Province on Tuesday.

The deadliest single enemy attack on UK forces in Afghanistan since 2001 killed Sergeant Nigel Coupe, 33, of 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, and Corporal Jake Hartley, 20, Private Anthony Frampton, 20, Private Christopher Kershaw, 19, Private Daniel Wade, 20, and Private Daniel Wilford, 21, all of 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment.

Four of the fallen soldiers came from the West Yorkshire area close to Halifax.

The town is also the former home of the Duke of Wellington's Regimental barracks until the unit was subsumed into the Yorkshire Regiment.

The ancient Minster also houses the Wellington's regimental chapel, where hundreds of members of the public have signed a book of condolence and lit candles.

Reverend Canon Hilary Barber, the Vicar of Halifax, opening the service - described as Evensong and Remembrance for the Yorkshire Regiment - said the Minster had borne witness to the Christian faith for 900 years and they were gathered to pray for the fallen soldiers.

"And so we come here now, to express our sorrow," he said.

"To offer our solidarity with those soldiers who died, with those currently serving in Afghanistan and those who we know are preparing to leave these shores in April for their next six-month tour of duty."

On the altar, draped with the Duke of Wellington's Regimental flag, Canon Barber lit six candles, telling the congregation: "To remind us of the six soldiers who died for their Queen and country during this past week."


From Belfast Telegraph