A SOLDIER has been killed by a bomb while trying to clear a road in Afghanistan.

The unnamed man, who was serving with Bicester-based 23 Pioneer Regiment, the Royal Logistic Corps, died in Lashkar Gah district, Helmand Province, yesterday.

He became the 348th member of the British military to die since operations started in the country in 2001.

The regiment, based in St David’s Barracks, locates improvised explosive devices (IEDs) before calling in bomb disposal experts who defuse them.

Troops from 23 Pioneer also carry vital supplies to the front line.

Spokesman for Task Force Helmand, Lt Col David Eastman, said: “Sadly, I must report the death of a soldier from 23 Pioneer Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps, working with the Counter-IED Task Force.

“He was at the very forefront of the fight against terrorism, and gave his all to make a better, more secure life for the people of Afghanistan and our own nation. His loss will be felt deeply by all who knew him, and our thoughts are very much with his family and friends at this sad time.”

His next of kin have been informed and asked for a period of grace before further details are released.

The body of Corporal Steven Dunn, of 216 Parachute Regiment, who was killed in Helmand Province three days before Christmas, is expected to arrive back at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital at 2.45pm tomorrow for post-mortem tests to be carried out.