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British Royal Marine dies in Afghan blast


London : A British Royal Marine has been killed in an explosion in southern Afghanistan, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced late Wednesday night.

The blast took place north of the town of Sangin, in Helmand province, where the marine’s battle group had been on patrol, the MoD added.

Another marine was injured but was described as “walking wounded.” The death takes British military fatalities in Afghanistan to 89 since operations started in November 2001.

The MoD said the killed marine had been pronounced dead at the scene.

The marines were taking part in a patrol aimed at disrupting the activities of the Taliban at the time of the attack.

Earlier this week, members of the same regiment helped save the lives of two Afghan children who were injured in a rocket attack by enemy insurgents.

The marine’s death comes at a time of increasing tensions over the NATO mission in Afghanistan.

NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer is due to begin talks with Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai in Kabul later today.

There are around 7,800 British forces currently deployed in Afghanistan.