Major Alexis Robets 1RGR Killed Afghanistan 4th October 07

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UK soldier killed in Afghan blast

British troops had been involved in a mission to clear insurgents
A British Army soldier has been killed and two others injured in an explosion in southern Afghanistan.
The soldiers, serving with the 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, were returning to base at Kandahar Airfield when the blast happened.

The Gurkhas had been part of an operation in neighbouring Helmand Province when they were hit 19 miles from the coalition air base.

The injured soldiers are receiving treatment. Families have been informed.

Major mission

All three soldiers were airlifted to the main UK base at Camp Bastion, where one was pronounced dead.

The Gurkhas were involved in an operation involving 2,500 troops - their first major operation since their arrival in the country earlier this month.

Troops confront danger on a daily basis as they continue to improve the security situation in Afghanistan

Squadron Leader Mat Best

Codenamed 'Palk Wahel' or 'Sledgehammer Hit', the mission, involving other British troops and Afghan National Security Forces, aims to drive the Taleban insurgents from the Upper Gereshk Valley.

The Ministry of Defence said it was with "deep regret" that it had to announce the death.

Squadron Leader Mat Best, a spokesman for the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf), said: "Isaf troops confront danger on a daily basis as they continue to improve the security situation in Afghanistan.

"Our thoughts are with the families and friends of those who have died or been injured in the incident."

The soldier's death takes the number of British troops killed in Afghanistan since the start of operations in 2001 to 82.