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8 March 2012, 10:26
Six soldiers, including five from the 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment killed after the single worst enemy attack on British troops in Afghanistan since operations began in 2001 have been named.
Six soldiers who were killed in a bomb blast in Afghanistan on Tuesday were named by the Ministry of Defence today as:
33 year old Sergeant Nigel Coupe, St Anne's in Fylde, He's from the 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment,
20 year old Corporal Jake Hartley, Huddersfield, all from 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment,
20 year old Private Anthony Frampton, Huddersfield,
19 year old Private Christopher Kershaw,
20 year old Private Daniel Wade, Latchford in Warrington
21 year old Private Daniel Wilford, Huddersfield.
They died when their Warrior armoured vehicle was hit by a bomb while on patrol in Helmand Province on Tuesday evening.
The soldiers, who had only been in Afghanistan for a few weeks, were hit by a blast about 25 miles north of Helmand's capital, Lashkar Gah, at 6.30pm local time (2pm UK time).
The six victims were killed in a catastrophic double blast when the huge bomb triggered a second explosion of ammunition inside their Warrior armoured vehicle, it’s believed they all died instantly.
This reduced the 40-ton Warrior to a 'riddled shell', meaning it was impossible for any of its occupants to survive.
Horrified colleagues saw the blasts from a second vehicle but there was nothing they could do to help.
The intensity of the blaze meant rescuers could not get near the vehicle, and its charred shell was only taken back to the main British base in Helmand, Camp Bastion, at 7.30pm on Wednesday night local time.
The MoD said it did not plan to release further information about the six soldiers until they have been formally identified.
It is understood that this could take several days because experts are having to use DNA techniques to confirm their identities.
Their deaths would take the total number of British forces personnel or Ministry of Defence civilians who have died while serving in the region to more than 400 since the US-led invasion in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks.
The Taliban told the BBC they carried out the attack and were "very proud of it".
Pte Frampton went to Royds Hall High School in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, and signed up to the Army in 2009 at the age of 18, according to the Huddersfield Daily Examiner.
Pte Wilford was just 16 when he joined the Army and Cpl Hartley, a former student at Earlsheaton High School in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, was 17 when he enlisted, the paper reported.
Prime Minister David Cameron said the news was a “desperately sad day for our country”.
Speaking in Downing Street, he added: “It is a reminder of the huge price that we are paying for the work we are doing in Afghanistan and the sacrifice that our troops have made and continue to make.”
The incident represents the biggest single loss of British military personnel in the country since an RAF Nimrod crash which killed 14 people in 2006.
Labour leader Ed Miliband said: “We salute all of our fallen and those who continue to serve in the face of the gravest danger. They are serving with bravery and courage and we owe them all a huge debt of gratitude.”
Former soldier Kris Hopkins, Conservative MP for Keighley and Ilkley in West Yorkshire, said: ``I am absolutely devastated by this news.
“As a former member of the Duke of Wellington's Regiment, I was invited to have lunch with officers of 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment only two weeks ago in advance of their departure to Helmand.
From top left: Sergeant Nigel Coupe, Corporal Jake Hartley and Private Anthony Frampton. From bottom left: Private Christopher Kershaw, Private Daniel Wade and Private Daniel Wilford