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SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, September 3) – A 27-year-old Fijian serving in the British Army has been killed by insurgents in Afghanistan.

The British Ministry of Defence has named the dead soldier as Anare Draiva who was part of the 1 Royal Irish Regiment.

A second soldier was seriously injured in the attack and one insurgent is understood to have died in the attack, which took place on September 1.

In a statement the MoD said: "It is with deep regret that the MoD can confirm the death of Ranger Anare Draiva, of 1 Royal Irish Regiment, during a contact in Helmand province. Anare was Fijian and his immediate family have now been informed."

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.

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."

Brigadier Ed Butler, commander of the UK taskforce in the troubled Helmand region, admitted that operations in the north of the province were "demanding".

But he said good progress was being made in bringing security to areas that have had little law and order for more than 30 years.

September 4, 2006


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