British Bomb Expert Killed In Afghanistan

British Bomb Expert Killed In Afghanistan
# 29 June 2010 00:23 (UTC +04:00)
Baku – APA. A British Army bomb disposal expert was killed in Afghanistan on Sunday, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed, APA reports quoting “Sky News”.
The family of the soldier, from 101 Engineer Regiment, have been told of his death.
It takes the number of British troops killed in the campaign to 309 and the soldier’s death was the 20th fatality this month - approaching the conflict’s record monthly toll of 22 of last June.
Meanwhile, a British soldier who died in a UK hospital after being injured on patrol in Afghanistan has been named as Bombardier Stephen Gilbert.
The 36-year-old from 4th Regiment Royal Artillery was wounded in an explosion in the Nahr e Saraj district of Helmand Province on June 10.
His wife Jackie was at his side when he died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham on Saturday.
She has described him as her "true soul mate".
The soldier, who was originally from Scotland and lived in Topcliffe, North Yorkshire, also leaves behind his sons Connor and Kristian.
His wife said in a statement: "Steve will always be in my heart and will live on through his family and many close friends. Rest in peace my darling - I love you so much."
News of the latest deaths came as the head of the Army cast doubt on whether Britain and its allies can defeat insurgents in Afghanistan by force.
General Sir David Richards, said his "private view" was that it was time to negotiate as part of the exit strategy for international forces.
"I think on one level, the tactical level, the lower military level, we need to continue to make the Taliban feel that they are being punished for what they are doing in a military sense," he said.
"So that needs to continue, but whether we can turn that into some sense of strategic defeat I’m less certain."
Gen Richards, speaking to BBC Radio 4’s The World This Weekend, said military operations should continue if negotiations began with the Taliban.
He said: "If you look at any counter-insurgency campaign throughout history there’s always been a point at which you start to negotiate with each other, probably through proxies in the first instance and I don’t know when that will happen."
Debate on the timing of withdrawal from Afghanistan has been fuelled by David Cameron’s comments that he wants British troops home by the time of the next General Election, scheduled for 2015.