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British soldier dies of Afghanistan wounds

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Soldier was wounded in explosion June 10
  • He died in a hospital in England on Saturday
  • He's the 308th British soldier killed in Afghanistan operations since 2001
  • British PM wants troops out by 2015

London, England (CNN) -- A British soldier died this weekend of wounds sustained in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence announced Sunday.

The soldier, of the 4th Regiment Royal Artillery, was wounded in an explosion while on patrol June 10, and died in a hospital in Birmingham, England, on Saturday, the ministry announced.

His family has been told and they've asked for 24 hours before any more information about him is released.

The United Kingdom has the second-largest contingent of foreign troops fighting insurgents in Afghanistan, after the United States.

The soldier who died Saturday is the 308th British service member killed since the invasion to topple the Taliban in October 2001.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said Friday that British military forces must be out of Afghanistan before the next general election, scheduled to be held in 2015.

"We cannot be there for another five years, having been there for effectively nine years already," he told Sky News. He is in Canada for the G8 and G-20 summits.

Cameron said he preferred "not to deal in too strict timetables," but said the goal is "not a perfect Afghanistan, but some stability in Afghanistan, and the ability of the Afghans themselves to run their country so we can come home."

Even then, though, Britain and Afghanistan must continue to work together, he said.

"Britain should have a long-term relationship with Afghanistan, including helping to train and support their troops and their civil society, their government and all sorts of parts of Afghanistan long after the vast bulk of the troops have gone," he said.

Cameron said failure to maintain long-term relations was one reason that British forces are now there.

"In the past, we walked away from countries like Afghanistan and, to an extent, from Pakistan, and allowed them to become the badlands they became," he said.