Sixth British soldier in a week killed in Afghanistan
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LONDON (AFP) â A British soldier was killed in fighting in troubled southern Afghanistan on Wednesday, the sixth fatality among British forces in the past week, the defence ministry said in a statement.
The soldier from 1st Battalion The Rifles was killed by enemy fire in an area north west of Lashkar Gah in southern Helmand province while fighting in the district of Nad-e-Ali, the ministry in London said.
He was treated at the scene before being taken to the military hospital at Camp Bastion by helicopter, but later died of his wounds.
His death follows that of a soldier from 29 Commando Royal Artillery in Helmand on Monday, and those of four marines in the province on Friday.
It brings to 134 the total number of British service personnel killed in Afghanistan since 2001, when US-led forces ousted the Taliban in the wake of the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington.
"The death of this soldier has left everyone in Task Force Helmand deeply saddened," army spokeswoman Commander Paula Rowe said.
"Whilst words cannot ease their devastating loss, our heartfelt condolences go to his family, friends and colleagues at this time."
Britain has around 8,000 troops in Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). They are largely based in Helmand, where they are battling Taliban insurgents.