Bomb expert killed by a blast in Afghanistan

A soldier from 33 Engineer Regiment, based in Essex, has been killed by a blast while clearing explosive devices in southern Afghanistan.

The British army bomb disposal expert died yesterday in the Nahr-e Saraj district of restive southern Helmand province.

The serviceman “was caught in an explosion whilst.... engaged in vital work securing an area in Nahr-e Saraj for the protection of local Helmandis,” Task Force Helmand spokesman Lieutenant Colonel David Eastman said.

Next of kin had been informed, the statement said.

The blast came less than two weeks after another British soldier was killed by a bomb in the same district -- the 300th killed by enemy action in Afghanistan.

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A total of 340 British troops have now died in Afghanistan from all causes since operations began in October 2001.

Britain has around 9,500 troops in Afghanistan, mostly in Helmand, making it the second largest contributor to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.

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The 33 Engineer Regiment is predominantly based at Carver Barracks, Wimbish, in Essex, with its newest sub-unit 61 Field Squadron (EOD) located at Rock Barracks, Woodbridge.

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