First Brit soldier's death in 2011 reported from Afghanistan

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London, Jan 3 (ANI): A soldier from Scottish regiment has become the first British military victim in the New Year to be killed in a roadside explosion in southern Afghanistan.

The Guardian quoted the Ministry of Defence as saying that the soldier from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, was killed on January 1 in Nahr-e Saraj in Helmand.

"The soldier was killed when he was caught in an explosion while deployed on an operation to interdict enemy fighters and bring peace to the district of Nahr-e Saraj," the MoD statement said.

According to a spokesman for Task Force Helmand, Lieutenant Colonel David Eastman, the deceased soldier has made an ultimate sacrifice to safeguard lives of the common people.

"He was part of an operation aiming to bring peace and prosperity to the people of a former insurgent haven, and has made the ultimate sacrifice in seeking a better life for others. He will remain in our thoughts and our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends," he added.

The last British fatality of 2010 was of Warrant Officer Class 2 Charles Wood from 23 Pioneer Regiment RLC (Royal Logistic Corps), who was killed in Afghanistan on December 28 while helping clear improvised explosive devices.

Over a hundred UK servicemen have died in Afghanistan in each of the past two years. A total of 349 British soliders have been killed since operations began there in 2001.

Besides, nearly 2,300 members of the Nato-led force have perished over the same period. Of those, 1,444 were Americans. After the UK, Canada has suffered the most casualties with 154 killed. France has had 51 fatalities and Germany 45. (ANI)

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