British soldier killed in Afghanistan

Other News Materials 9 December 2007 09:25 (UTC +04:00)

( AFP ) - A British soldier was killed Saturday while serving in southern Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence here said.

A total of 86 British troops have now died in Afghanistan since the start of US-led military action in late 2001 to oust the Taliban, the country's hardline Islamist former rulers.

"It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that a British soldier serving with the 2nd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment has been killed today... in southern Afghanistan," the MoD said in a brief statement.

"Next of kin have been informed and have requested a 24-hour period of grace before further details are released."

No further details were given.

Most of Britain's soldiers are based in the restive southern Helmand province, where Taliban insurgents are said to be teamed up with foreign fighters from Al-Qaeda and opium producers helping to finance the insurgency.

Britain is set to have around 7,800 troops in Afghanistan by the end of the month -- the second-highest total after the United States to the United Nations-sanctioned, NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.

Of the 86 British troops to have died in the campaign, 60 are classed as killed in action or as having died of wounds sustained in action.

The remaining 26 died either as a result of illness, non-combat injuries or accidents, or the cause of death has not yet been officially determined.

The last British military fatality in Afghanistan was on Tuesday. Trooper Jack Sadler of The Honourable Artillery Company was killed in an explosion near the Helmand Province town of Sangin.