Prince William's army mentor killed in Afghanistan

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LONDON, Oct 6 (Reuters) Prince William, second in line to the British throne, said today he was ''deeply saddened'' by news that his mentor from army officer training school had been killed in action in Afghanistan.

Major Alexis Roberts, of the Royal Gurkha Rifles, died in southern Afghanistan on Thursday after his convoy was hit by a improvised explosive device as it returned to its base in Kandahar, Britain's Ministry of Defence said.

Roberts, 32, had been the prince's instructor during his time at the elite Sandhurst training academy from which he graduated last year as a second lieutenant.

''Prince William was deeply saddened to learn of the death in action of Lex Roberts whom he remembers with great respect as his platoon commander at Sandhurst and as a good friend,'' said a spokesman for prince.

''At this time his thoughts and prayers are with Lex's wife Susie, their two young daughters, and with all his family and friends.'' Roberts was the 82nd British soldier to have died in Afghanistan since the Taliban government was toppled in 2001.

REUTERS SKB RK1905

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