Tributes to city-based soldier

TRIBUTES have been paid to a city-based soldier who died in an explosion while on foot patrol in southern Afghanistan.

Rifleman Mark Turner, 21, was a "remarkable young man" and a popular member of 3rd Battalion The Rifles, according to comrades.

The Newcastle United fan from Gateshead was killed on Sunday by an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) in the Kajaki area of Helmand province.

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His death took the British military death toll since Afghanistan operations began in 2001 to 280.

He leaves fiancee Liesha, mother Anne, stepfather Joe, brother Dave and three sisters Lisa, Joanne and Julie. Nicknamed Turtle, he worked as a panel beater before joining the Army four years ago.