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35th British soldier killed in Afghanistan this year

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

London, Oct 17, IRNA -- Britain's Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced the death of another UK soldier in Afghanistan, bringing the total to 383 since the overthrow of the Taliban regime 10 years ago.

The latest UK fatality, the 35th so far this year, was caused when a soldier from Royal Gurkha Rifles was shot dead while protecting checkpoint in the Nahr-e Saraj region of Helmand province.

Lieutenant Colonel Gordon Mackenzie, spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said the Royal Gurkha Rifles had been in operations with Afghan police partners to extend security in the region.

'Whilst protecting a checkpoint, his team came under insurgent small arms fire, during which he received a fatal gunshot wound,” Mackenzie said.

The previous British serviceman to be killed in Afghanistan was Royal Marine David Fairbrother, 24, of Blackburn, Lancashire, who was shot dead after his patrol was ambushed in southern Afghanistan on September 19.

In addition to the 35 fatalities so far this year, British troops have also suffered 54 casualties, classified as seriously or very seriously injured up to the middle of September, according to the latest official figures.

Some 212 have been wounded in action during the nine-and-a-half months period, 449 have suffered non-battle injuries or from disease, while 849 have been aero-medically evacuated.

British casualties in the war reached their peak in 2009 and 2010, when fatalities average more than 100 a year, but the numbers were drastically reduced with the influx of US reinforcement in Helmand province last autumn.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30616462

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