A soldier who was killed in a clash with insurgents while serving with British forces in Afghanistan was named today as Ranger Anare Draiva of 1 Royal Irish Regiment.
Ranger Draiva, who was Fijian, was attacked in northern Helmand province yesterday at 4pm local time (12.30pm Irish time).
The UK Ministry of Defence said his immediate family had been informed of his death.
Defence Secretary Des Browne said: “I wish to express my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Ranger Anare Draiva. My thoughts are with them and those of the other solider injured in the same incident.”
A second soldier was seriously injured in the attack and was subsequently evacuated from the scene.
One insurgent was understood to have died in the attack.
Ranger Draiva is the seventh British soldier to be killed in action in Afghanistan since the beginning of August and the 15th since operations began in November 2001.
There are nearly 4,000 British troops deployed in Helmand as part of a Nato-led security force battling to bring security to turbulent southern Afghanistan.
The province has seen the worst of the fighting during the biggest upsurge in violence in Afghanistan in nearly five years since the ousting of the hard-line Taliban regime by US-led forces.
Militant supporters of the Islamist militia have stepped up attacks, rendering much of the south and east of the country a no-go zone for civilians.
Insecurity has also spread to other provinces, such as Ghazni, where Taliban-led fighters are more active than in the past.
Yesterday, suspected Taliban ambushed Habibullah Jan, the chief of the central province’s Muqur district, as he travelled by car to the provincial capital, said Abdul Ali Faqari, the Ghazni governor’s spokesman.