MoD names two servicemen killed in Afghanistan blast

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Two British servicemen who died after the vehicle they were travelling in was caught in a blast in Afghanistan have been named by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Royal Marine Captain Tom Jennings, who is understood to have been serving with the special forces, and Squadron Leader Anthony Downing of the RAF were south of Kabul when they were fatally injured.

Sqn Ldr Downing was flown home after the explosion last Thursday but died a day later at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, where his family were with him.

The MoD said Captain Jennings, 29, “was a true leader, selfless in his professional approach serving those who were his responsibility”.

It added: “Dedicated and humble, he was an archetypal Royal Marine with a keen sense of humour even when faced with adversity.

“He was devoted to his wife and their two young sons whose loss cannot be portrayed in words. The Royal Marines have lost a brother, they have lost their world.”

It is understood Capt Jennings was serving with the special forces but the MoD does not comment specifically on special forces deaths.

Sqn Ldr Downing, 34, who was known as Ant, was, by trade, an engineering officer in the Royal Air Force, and a talented linguist who was also an enthusiastic endurance event sportsman.

He leaves his parents, a brother, a girlfriend and many friends.

Group Captain Robbie Noel, who was station commander of RAF Kinloss in Scotland when Sqn Ldr Downing served there, described him as “An immensely dedicated, talented and passionate engineer.”