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A British soldier killed in Afghanistan has been named as Rifleman Sheldon Steel from Leeds.
The Ministry of Defence said he died after an explosion in Babaji in the Lashkah Gah district.
Rifleman Steel served with the 5th Battalion The Rifles and joined the Army in 2009.
The soldier's family said: ``Sheldon was loving, caring and affectionate with his family and we all heard from him regularly. He loved being in the Army from when he was in the Army Cadets to joining 5 Rifles.''
The tribute from his mother Victoria, brother Kameron, and sisters Cody and Carys, added: ``He had a good sense of humour and frequently joked with us all.
``He was a big lad - all 6ft 4in of him - with a big heart. Words cannot explain how much he will be missed by us all.''
Lieutenant Colonel Tom Copinger-Symes, commanding officer, 5th Battalion The Rifles, said he was ``the essence of a Delta Dog'', which is how members of his company are known.
He said: ``As a club within a club, the Delta Dogs have a particularly special identity in our battalion and Rifleman Steel was immensely proud of that identity.
``And so he should have been, because he was, and will remain until next year, the Top Dog - which is to say the winner of D Company's annual competition to find their best Rifleman.
``He truly was a special blend of physical robustness, sharp intellect, old-fashioned politeness, and natural leadership flair - all underscored by a quiet confidence and understated ambition.''