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2 British soldiers killed in Afghanistan

  • Story Highlights
  • One British soldier dies in blast while on foot patrol in Helmand province
  • Second British soldier died from gunshot wound
  • The deaths bring number of British troops killed this month in Afghanistan to 9
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(CNN) -- Two British soldiers were killed in separate incidents Thursday in Afghanistan's Helmand province, the British military said Friday.

In the first incident, a soldier from 4th Battalion The Rifles died in an explosion while on foot patrol near Nad Ali on Thursday afternoon, said Britain's Ministry of Defence.

Later in the day, a soldier from the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, attached to 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, died of a gunshot wound. It happened while soldiers were engaged with insurgent forces near Lashkar Gah, as part of Operation Panther's Claw, the ministry said.

"These fine British soldiers paid the ultimate sacrifice, and their memory will live with us forever," said British military spokesman Lt. Col. Nick Richardson.

"We mourn their loss, and our thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends at this very sad time. We know that their deaths were not in vain."

The soldiers' next of kin had been informed, the Ministry of Defence said.

The two deaths bring to nine the number of British troops killed this month in Afghanistan.

Many are involved in Operation Panther's Claw, which is aimed at clearing parts of Helmand of insurgents and restoring government control before national elections next month.

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