Soldier From 3 Para Dies In Helmand

9 February 2011, 18:05 | Updated: 21 February 2011, 12:10

An Essex-based soldier's been killed in Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) says the soldier from the 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment died alongside a colleague from the 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment in Helmand Province.

Lieutenant Colonel David Eastman, spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said:" The soldiers were patrolling an area in the north of Nad-e Ali District when they were hit by small arms fire from which they both subsequently died.

"Both soldiers were engaged in vital work bringing stability, governance and development to an area that had been dominated by insurgent intimidation.

"They have given their lives fighting oppression and protecting those less able to protect themselves - we will never forget them. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families at this tragic time.''

The soldier's the third from the Colchester garrison to die this year.

Major Colin Beckett, 36, also from the 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, will be repatriated to RAF Lyneham today (9 February). He was hit by an improvised explosive device in Helmand Province on Saturday 5 February.