Second British serviceman dies in Afghan blast

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A MEMBER of the Royal Air Force who was injured in the same explosion which killed a Royal Marine in Afghanistan has died of his injuries, the Ministry of Defence said.

The serviceman was seriously wounded when his vehicle was caught in an explosion south of Kabul on Thursday.

He was flown back to the UK but died of his wounds at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

His next of kin has been informed.

An MoD spokesman said last night: “It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of a member of the Royal Air Force.

“The serviceman was seriously wounded when his vehicle was caught in an explosion south of Kabul on Thursday 22nd December.

“He was flown back to the UK where sadly he died of his wounds at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.”

It is understood the Marine who also died was serving with the Special Forces but the MoD does not comment specifically on Special Forces deaths.

His family has also been told.

Isaf (the International Security Assistance Force) said that a helicopter carrying British troops was forced to make an emergency landing after coming under fire on Friday.

The forced landing took place near an Afghan National Security Force checkpoint in Nahr-e Saraj district, in southern Helmand Province.

The helicopter landed safely and without incident and the aircrew were recovered unharmed, Isaf said.

A total of 393 British troops have died since the start of operations in Afghanistan in 2001.

Last week Prime Minister David Cameron indicated he was planning further withdrawals of troops from the country in 2013 after the 500 due to be pulled out next year.

But he again refused to give an exact timescale for how Britain’s deployment would be withdrawn ahead of his deadline for all combat troops to be out by the end of 2014.

Ten people were killed yesterday when a suicide bomber blew himself up during a funeral ceremony in northern Afghanistan.

The attack occurred as mourners were leaving after the end of the funeral in the town of Talaqan.

The dead included a member of Afghanistan’s national parliament.

Security forces in Afghanistan have killed 30 suspected insurgents in a series of clashes around the country.

The army, police and Nato troops have launched 11 operations in the past 24 hours across Afghanistan. Seven insurgents were arrested.

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