British veterinary soldier shot dead in Afghanistan

A British soldier from the Royal Army Veterinary Corps was shot dead in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday, the Ministry of Defence in London said.

Updated: Mar 02, 2011, 10:28 AM IST

London: A British soldier from the Royal
Army Veterinary Corps was shot dead in southern Afghanistan
on Wednesday, the Ministry of Defence in London said.

The soldier was killed while on operations in the
Nahr-e Saraj district in the restive Helmand Province.
The RAVC is responsible for the provision, training
and care of animals in the army. The MoD did not specify the
soldier`s role, but the British military use sniffer dogs to
detect improvised explosive devices planted by the Taliban.

The death comes as Afghan President Hamid Karzai
visited Britain for talks on the planned transition of
security responsibility from international troops to their
Afghan counterparts in 2014.

Karzai paid tribute to the sacrifices made by British
troops in Afghanistan, in a joint press conference with Prime
Minister David Cameron at Downing Street.

The death brings to 358 the number of British troops
killed since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001.
Of these, at least 314 were killed through hostile action.

"The soldier was patrolling the area in the north of
Nahr-e Saraj when he was hit by enemy gun fire," said Wing
Commander Martin Tinworth, a spokesman for Britain`s main Camp
Bastion base in Helmand.
"He has given his life in the service of his country
whilst engaged in protecting the local population."

The soldier`s next of kin have been informed. He was
the 10th British troop to die in Afghanistan this year.

Karzai is scheduled to visit Britain`s Headley Court
rehabilitation centre for wounded service personnel on
Wednesday.

PTI