An "insider attack" has claimed the life of a British soldier in Afghanistan in the latest in a series of deaths caused by members of Afghan security forces.

The soldier, from 28 Engineer Regiment, was shot dead by a suspected member of the Afghan National Army (ANA) on Monday at Patrol Base Hazrat in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand Province, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced. His family have been informed.

An MoD official in Kabul, who asked to remain anonymous, said six British soldiers were also wounded in the incident.

The killed soldier, who was attached to 21 Engineer Regiment, is the latest victim of a "green-on-blue" attack - where Afghans turn their weapons on their coalition colleagues in Helmand Province.

Attacks of this kind have claimed the lives of all six British soldiers killed during the current tour, Herrick 17, and so far at least 54 international troops have died as a result of such incidents.

Announcing the latest death, the MoD said the soldier died as a result of small arms fire from a suspected member of the Afghan National Army, who turned his weapon on ANA and ISAF soldiers. He was killed by return fire.

This insider attack takes to 439 the number of UK service members to have lost their lives since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001.

Major Laurence Roche, spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said: "It is my painful duty to report the death of a soldier from 28 Engineer Regiment, who was shot and killed by a suspected member of the Afghan National Army at a patrol base in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand Province.

"This is an extremely sad day for the Corps of Royal Engineers and everyone serving with Task Force Helmand. Our thoughts are with the soldier's family and friends at this time."

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, identifying the shooter as Mohammad Qasim Faroq, and the latest death will undoubtedly heighten fears that insurgents will capitalise on significant reductions in troops in Afghanistan.

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-defence(Ministry of Defence)