British soldier thought to have been killed by friendly fire
A BRITISH soldier killed in an explosion in Afghanistan this week is believed to have died as a result of "friendly fire".
The serviceman, from 36 Engineer Regiment, was serving with the Counter Improvised Explosive Device taskforce when he died in a blast in the Sangin area of Helmand on Monday.
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said yesterday the death was being investigated as a "suspected friendly fire incident".
He added: "Initial reports suggest that a smokescreen was requested to enable the movement of elements of 36 Engineer Regiment who were operating on the ground in the Sangin area.
"As this was being undertaken, it is believed that one of the smoke shells may have fallen short of its intended target."
A spokesman for Task Force Helmand, Lieutenant Colonel James Carr-Smith, said of the serviceman killed: "He was part of a search team that was involved in an operation to provide security in Sangin District when, tragically, he was killed in an explosion.
"He died seeking to improve the lives of local Afghans.
"He will be sorely missed by his many friends. His sacrifice will not be forgotten. We will remember him."
The British death toll in the Afghan campaign since 2001 now stands at 325.
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