LONDON : A British soldier has been killed in a grenade attack in southern Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence in London said Thursday.
The soldier’s death brought to 418 the number of British troops killed since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001. Of these, at least 378 were killed as a result of hostile action.
The soldier, from 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, was on a patrol aimed at disrupting insurgent activity in the Nahr-e Saraj district in Helmand Province when he was caught in the blast from an enemy grenade.
“Despite receiving immediate medical treatment he was sadly killed in action,” the ministry statement said.
The soldier’s next of kin have been informed. He is the 24th British soldier to die this year in the Afghanistan campaign.
Britain has around 9,500 troops in Afghanistan, making it the second-largest contributor to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force after the United States.
They are based in central Helmand, battling Taliban insurgents and training local security forces. Britain intends to pull out all its combat troops by the end of 2014.