Two Nato troops and British soldier killed in Operation Moshtarak

Two Nato troops and a British soldier have been killed during the ongoing anti-Taliban offensive in Afghanistan.

A Nato statement said one service member died in an IED strike, while another died from small-arms fire. It did not give their nationalities.

US military spokesman Lt Col Todd Vician said the deaths occurred in Helmand province and were related to the ongoing offensive.

They were the first reported coalition casualties of the offensive.

Codenamed Moshtarak, the offensive by US, Afghan and Nato forces focussed on the Taliban-held town of Marjah today and is aimed at breaking the extremists’ grip over a wide area of their southern heartland.

It later emerged that a British soldier was also killed during the launch of the offensive – the fiercest military onslaught against the Taliban since the conflict began,.

Comrades said the soldier, from 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, was killed by an explosion while in a vehicle patrol during the first stages of the operation.

Lieutenant Colonel David Wakefield, spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said: “It happened this morning when a soldier from 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards was killed by an explosion in Nad-e-Ali District, Helmand Province."

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: “I want to pass on my condolences to the family and friends of one of our soldiers, very brave, very courageous, lost in this assault, making the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

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