Sheffield Serviceman Killed in Afghanistan

An RAF serviceman killed in an explosion in Afghanistan has been named by the Ministry of Defence as Senior Aircraftman Christopher Bridge from Sheffield.

The 20-year-old, was serving with C flight, 51 Squadron RAF Regiment when he was killed in Kandahar province on Thursday.

The squadron, based at RAF Lossiemouth, Moray, was on patrol when one of its vehicles was caught in the blast.

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SAC Bridge was described as charismatic with an "infectious sense of humour".

A civilian interpreter was also killed and two other servicemen injured in the blast during the patrol around Kandahar airfield, the main hub for international forces flying in and out of southern Afghanistan.

The casualties were taken by helicopter to a Nato hospital inside the base, where SAC Bridge was pronounced dead on arrival. The interpreter died of his injuries later.

Commanding officer of 51 Squadron RAF Regiment, Sqn Ldr Tony Brown, described SAC Bridge as a "very competent gunner" who was "unassumingly professional and with a promising career ahead".

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"Following operational service in Iraq, Chris had consolidated his position on the squadron as a capable and enthusiastic gunner whose likeable personality and witty sense of humour made him engaging to serve with," he added.

The RAF Regiment's 51 Squadron have been in Afghanistan since April and are due to return home in the next few weeks.

The latest death takes the total number of UK troops killed while on operations in Afghanistan since 2001 to 74.

Last week, three soldiers from The Royal Anglian Regiment were killed in Helmand province in a "friendly fire" incident.