23 March 2010, 06:03
The body of a Suffolk soldier killed in Afghanistan will be brought back to the UK today as the latest British military victim of the conflict is expected to be named.
Lance Corporal Scott Hardy and Private James Grigg who was originally from Stradbroke near Eye, died last Tuesday north of Musa Qalah. The cortege will pass through Wootton Bassett after arriving at RAF Lyneham.
The family of Pte Grigg who served with the Royal Anglian Regiment said the 21-year-old, was a "team player in every sense''. It continued: "He was a village lad - his will be a terrible loss to the Stradbroke community.''
A tribute released by the family of L/Cpl Hardy who was also a member of the 1st Battalion said the 26-year-old, from Chelmsford in Essex, possessed "great inner strength and a powerful personality''.
The latest victim, a soldier from A Company, 3rd Battalion The Rifles, died yesterday in an explosion in Sangin, Helmand Province, the Ministry of Defence said.
Spokesman for Task Force Helmand, Lieutenant Colonel David Wakefield, said the soldier was on foot patrol crossing a bridge when he was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED).
He said: "His bravery and selfless commitment to his comrades and to this fight will not be forgotten.''
Next of kin has been informed. An MoD spokesman said the latest casualty was not connected to Operation Moshtarak, which has targeted Taliban strongholds in central Helmand.
A total of 276 British troops have died in the Afghan conflict since operations began in 2001.