Two British soldiers have been shot dead in Afghanistan as they tried to rescue a comrade.
The servicemen, one from The Royal Dragoon Guards and the other from 1st Battalion Scots Guards, were killed yesterday in the Lashkar Gah district of Helmand province, the Ministry of Defence said.
The families of the soldiers, who are expected to be named today, have been told.
Last night a spokesman for Task Force Helmand, Lieutenant Colonel James Carr-Smith, said: "The soldiers were part of a cordon operation providing security for a routine rotation of troops when they were killed by small arms fire.
"In the courageous and selfless act of attempting to evacuate an injured colleague, they themselves were shot and fatally wounded.
"They died helping their friends. Their sacrifice will never be forgotten. We will remember them."
The British death toll in the Afghan campaign since 2001 now stands at 324.
Later today the bodies of four British servicemen killed in separate incidents in Afghanistan will be repatriated.
Staff Sergeant Brett Linley, 29, of 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment, and Sergeant David Monkhouse, 35, of the Royal Dragoon Guards, both died on Saturday.
Their deaths followed those of Senior Aircraftman Kinikki Griffiths, 20, of 1 Squadron RAF Regiment, and Marine Jonathan Crookes, 26, of 40 Commando Royal Marines, who died the previous day.
The bodies of all four men will be flown back to to RAF Lyneham, Wiltshire.
By Ella Pickover, Press Association