British soldier killed in blast in Afghan south

Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:49am EDT
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KABUL (Reuters) - A British soldier was killed in the southern Afghan province of Helmand when his vehicle was hit by a suspected minestrike, the British Ministry of Defence said late on Monday.

After the traditional winter lull, violence has surged in recent weeks in Afghanistan where the Taliban regularly use roadside bombs as part of their campaign to topple the government and drive the foreign forces that back it.

In a separate latest reported violence, four Taliban and three Afghan policemen were killed in a clash in Marouf district of neighboring Kandahar on Monday night, a provincial police officer Mohammad Anwar told a Reuters reporter.

The fighting erupted after Taliban attacked a police checkpost, he said.

The British soldier was killed on Monday while the vehicle was providing security to a resupply convoy traveling from the district of Gereshk to Camp Bastion, the main British base in Helmand, the ministry said.

The death brings the number of British soldiers killed in Afghanistan since the overthrow of the Taliban in late 2001 to 94. There are some 7,800 British troops in Afghanistan mainly stationed in the south.

Three soldiers from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) were also wounded in two separate explosions in the south of the country, the ISAF said.

(Reporting by Jonathon Burch and Saeed Ali Achakzai, Editing by Bill Tarrant)