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History > 2013 > UK > War Afghanistan (I)




Afghan blast kills British troops

Three dead after roadside bomb attack on patrol vehicle
in Helmand province, Ministry of Defence confirms


Wednesday 1 May 2013
06.59 BST
Press Association
This article was published
on guardian.co.uk at 06.59 BST
on Wednesday 1 May 2013.
It was last modified at 07.22 BST
on Wednesday 1 May 2013.


Three British soldiers have been killed in a roadside bomb attack in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed.

The soldiers were on a routine patrol when their vehicle was struck by an improvised bomb in Nahr-e Saraj district, Helmand province, on Tuesday, the military said. They were from the Royal Highland Fusiliers 2nd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland.

They received immediate medical attention and were evacuated by air to the military hospital at Camp Bastion but could not be saved, the MoD said. Next of kin were informed.

Nine Afghans also died in the attack.

Major Richard Morgan, spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said: "It is with deep sadness that I must confirm that three soldiers from The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, have died after their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand Province.

"Their deaths come as a great loss to all those serving in Task Force Helmand. Our thoughts and prayers are extended to their family and friends at this difficult time."

An MoD spokesman said the incident underlined the continued danger faced by soldiers as they prepare to pull out of Afghanistan in 2014.

"Our thoughts are with the families who have lost loved ones in this incident, which underlines the threats faced by our personnel as they continue to hand over security operations to their Afghan counterparts ahead of UK combat operations concluding by the end of next year," he said.

"Security in Helmand, where most UK forces are based, is steadily improving with Afghan forces already responsible for the bulk of the province but the environment in which our troops operate remains risky and dangerous, including the threat of improvised explosive devices and insurgent attack.

"We will continue to do all we can to minimise these risks but they can never be removed entirely."

The deaths take to 444 the number of UK service members who have lost their lives since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001. Six have died this year.

Officials first reported the deadly blast on Tuesday. The attack came on the third day of what the Taliban has called its spring offensive.

Other explosions throughout the country killed nine civilians and a police commander.

In past years, spring has marked a significant upsurge in fighting between the Taliban and Nato forces with their local allies.

The insurgents warned they would infiltrate enemy ranks to conduct "insider attacks" and target military and diplomatic sites with suicide bombers.

This fighting season is a key test, as the international coalition is scheduled to hand over security responsibilities to Afghan forces next year.

Afghan blast kills British troops,
G, 1.5.2013,




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