Two UK soldiers killed in Afghanistan

Two soldiers from the same regiment died within hours of each other

Two British soldiers have been killed in separate incidents in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence said.

One soldier, from 21 Engineer Regiment Group, died in a traffic accident.

The other, from the same regiment, was killed in an explosion – both died in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan. Next of kin have been informed.

The latest deaths on Monday morning mean 284 UK military personnel have been killed in Afghanistan since operations began in 2001.

Reconnaissance trip

Spokesman for Task Force Helmand, Lt Col James Carr-Smith, said of the soldier killed in the blast: “He was travelling to meet up with local Afghan contractors prior to continuing with reconstruction programmes when he was killed in an explosion.”

Lt Col Carr-Smith said the other casualty had been “part of a team conducting a reconnaissance to replace a bridge over a canal in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand, in order that local Afghans could travel more freely, when he was killed in a traffic accident.”

Lt Col Carr-Smith also said both soldiers died in the course of their duty, and would be remembered. Earlier on Monday, the MoD had named Cpl Harvey Alex Holmes as the soldier killed in an explosion in Afghanistan on Sunday.  The 22-year-old was from Hyde, Greater Manchester, and served with 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment, attached to 40 Commando Royal Marines Battle Group.

Dead UK soldier is named by MoD

He died near Waterloo military base in Sangin, Helmand, while providing protection for his patrol as they investigated a compound east of Wishtan.

‘Fine soldier’

Cpl Holmes had been promoted twice in quick succession, and had recently served in Northern Ireland, Belize, the Falkland Islands and Iraq.

He was engaged to his girlfriend, and his family issued a statement that said: “Harvey lived for his family and his friends but his passion was the Army.”

Lt Col Andrew Hadfield, commanding officer of 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire), said Cpl Holmes had been a “fine soldier”, and an “exceptional leader and commander … without doubt one of the very best”.

He added: “He showed true promise and had a great future, but this has been cruelly stolen from him, his family, his girlfriend and his many friends. ”

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