Kabul, Nov.28 : The number of British soldiers killed in Afghanistan has crossed the 100-figure mark, with the death of two Royal Marines in Helmand province.
The deaths of the Marines from 42 Commando brought to 101 the number of soldiers, Marines and other personnel killed as a result of hostile action. Their names had not been released last night.
Another 27 have died from non-combat injuries, including vehicle accidents. In Iraq 176 personnel have died, 136 as a result of hostile action.
Eight soldiers and Marines have been killed in Afghanistan this month, five of them from 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines, which took over the security responsibility for Helmand from 16 Air Assault Brigade in October.
The two Marines from 42 Commando were killed during sustained enemy fire as they were patrolling northwest of Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital of Helmand.
Commander Paula Rowe, a spokeswoman for Britain's Task Force Helmand, said: "The loss of these two Royal Marines has come as a bitter and tragic blow to everyone."
There has been a sharp deterioration in security inside the Afghan capital in recent months, including at least three kidnappings of Westerners.
Insurgents yesterday released a video of a French aid worker kidnapped on November 3, pleading for his release.