Two Royal Marines have been killed in Afghanistan, bringing the British death toll in Afghanistan and Iraq up to the 300 mark.

176 British troops have been killed so far in Iraq and 124 so far in Afghanistan.

Last week, a Gurkha was killed in Afghanistan.

Yubraj Rai, a 28-year-old from the 2nd Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, died last Tuesday when his patrol was attacked in the Musa Qala area.

British death toll in Iraq and Afghanistan reaches 300 after two Royal Marines are killed in explosion

By Daily Mail Reporter
13th November 2008
Daily Mail

The combined British death toll in Iraq and Afghanistan has hit 300 after two Royal Marines were killed during a routine patrol with Afghan troops.

The pair, both from the UK Landing Force Command Support Group, were on an operation in southern Helmand region when they were caught by the blast.

It was not immediately clear whether the explosion in the Garmsir district yesterday afternoon was caused by a roadside bomb or a landmine, according to the MoD.

The latest two deaths take the total British toll in Afghanistan to 124. With the 176 killed in Iraq, the overall toll from the controversial wars has now reached 300.

Toll: Two Royal Marines have been killed in an explosion in southern Afghanistan taking the total of British deaths there to 124 (file picture)

Commander Paula Rowe, of Task Force Helmand, said of the two Marines: 'This is a tragic blow to us all in the task force, but our loss is nothing compared to that of their families and loved ones. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this terrible time.'

Brigadier General Richard Blanchette, from ISAF, added: 'Our deepest sympathies go out to their family, friends and fellow soldiers.

'Their lives are irreplaceable to all of us who fight for the peace and stability of Afghanistan.'

The two soldiers, who have not yet been named, were working for the Information Exploitation group in Helmand which gathers information to help them fight the enemy.

Their families in the UK have been told of their deaths and have asked for 24 hours before any more information is released, the MoD said.

The latest fatalities follow the death of the first Gurkha soldier to be killed fighting in the region, Yubraj Rai.

The 28-year-old from the 2nd Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles died last Tuesday when his patrol was attacked in the Musa Qala area.

Sacrifice: The latest deaths follow that of Yubraj Rai (pictured front) last Tuesday. He was the first Gurkha soldier to be killed in Afganistan

In a separate incident today, a suicide car bomber in eastern Afghanistan killed 20 civilians and an American soldier.

U.S. military spokesman Lieutenant Commander Walter Matthews, said the bomber attacked a U.S. convoy in a crowded market in the Bati Kot district of Nangarhar province.

The latest deaths follow a survey published by ICM Research yesterday which showed more than two-thirds of the population believe UK troops should be withdrawn from Afghanistan in the next year.

The poll was commissioned by BBC4 ahead of the debate In Afghanistan: Should We Bring Home The Troops?, which will be broadcast at 8pm tonight.

The MoD said its most recent Mori poll has shown more than half of the public support the troops' presence there.

A spokesman said using such polls 'is not necessarily helpful - there is an important job to be done in Afghanistan and we must win public support for it.'

'The UK is committed to maintaining troops in Afghanistan until the government of Afghanistan (GoA) has built sufficient capacity to maintain a stable security situation and the rule of law,' he said.

'UK military and civilians are playing a vital role in helping the Afghan government to build a better future for Afghanistan. In turn, a stable and secure Afghanistan is in the UK national interest, and we must not let it become a training ground for terrorists.'