Soldiers from 3 Yorks have been praised for their dedication in carrying on the fight against insurgents.
As the bodies of the six men killed in the bomb attack on a Warrior armoured vehicle were flown back to the UK yesterday, men who had fought alongside them did not hesitate in carrying on frontline duties.
Members of 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment were part of a 1,000-strong UK force that supported an Afghan-led operation to clear the Taliban heartland around Gereshk over the weekend.
Many were close friends of the men who lost their lives and all were determined to remember their fallen colleagues.
They played a key role in supporting patrols by the Afghan National Civil Order Police as they prevented suspected insurgents fleeing the area.
Days earlier, soldiers from the battalion helped take out a Taliban stronghold and seize weapons and bomb-making equipment in a nearby area.
Both operations took place within 20 miles of the site where an improvised explosive device (IED) killed their fellow soldiers.
Lieutenant Colonel Dan Bradbury, the commanding officer of 1st Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment, said: “Despite the losses the regiment has suffered, it comes as no surprise to me that 3 Yorks continue to conduct themselves with professionalism on operations.
“It is a real testament to the character of our soldiers that they are determined to carry on the mission and take the fight to insurgents.”
This weekend’s operation – dubbed Operation Now Roz, or New Day in Dari – saw Afghan troops take the lead with the support of UK forces.
They uncovered a haul of weapons including 44 bombs, closed down 18 IED-making factories, and raided a Taliban command compound.
Private Thomas Peebles, 24, from Gateshead, was among those from 3 Yorks on the operation.
He has been in Helmand for a month after deploying on Valentine’s Day.
Yesterday servicemen and women serving in Afghanistan paused to remember the six.