A Fylde coast soldier has been named as one of three servicemen killed when an explosion hit their armoured vehicle in Afghanistan.
Fusilier Samuel Flint-Broughton, 21, from Poulton, was serving in The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment Of Scotland.
He died alongside Corporal William Savage, from the same regiment, and Private Robert Hetherington, from 51st Highland, 7th Battalion The Royal Regiment Of Scotland, when the Mastiff they were travelling in hit an improvised explosive device (IED) on a routine patrol in Nahr-e Saraj, in Helmand Province, on Tuesday.
It is the first time British troops have died in an armoured Mastiff vehicle since it was introduced to the campaign in 2007.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the men were part of a patrol travelling along Route 611 between Forward Operating Base Ouellette and Patrol Base Lashkar Gah Durai in Nahr-e-Saraj when their vehicle was hit by the IED.
They were airlifted to the military hospital at Camp Bastion where it was confirmed they had been killed in action.
Six other men were injured in the incident.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said: “I was deeply saddened to learn of the deaths of these soldiers, each highly praised and respected by their colleagues and commanders.
“They were exceptional men who served their country with distinction.
“My thoughts go out to the families and friends of these brave men at this very difficult time.”
Prime Minister in pledge to look at equipment
Prime Minister David Cameron paid tribute to Fusilier Sam Flint-Broughton and his two colleagues, and said their deaths were “a reminder of the high price we have paid to help give this country a chance of safety in the future”.
The latest fatalities take the number of UK service members who have lost their lives since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001 to 444.
Mr Cameron said: “We have done an enormous amount to improve the quality protective vehicles our soldiers use out in Afghanistan and this particular vehicle as I understand it had a good record of withstanding blasts from IEDs.
“So I’m sure we want to look at that carefully and put in place everything we can to make sure our brave men and women have the best protective equipment.”
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