A Liverpool soldier has been killed in Afghanistan just six days before he was due to return home.
Lance Sergeant Mark Burgan, 28, from Kirkby, died alongside Major Matthew Collins, 38, from Somerset, when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb as they were returning to base from an operation to disrupt insurgent Taliban groups in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province.
L/Sgt Burgan is the second Irish Guardsman from Merseyside to be killed during their first six-month tour of duty.
His wife Leanne paid tribute to her "hero". She said: “I am
so honoured to be Mark’s wife. I will always love my hero.
Mark was an extremely proud Irish Guardsman, dad,
husband, brother and son. He will forever be in our hearts.”
Lt Col Christopher Ghika, commanding officer of 1st
Battalion Irish Guards, said: “Two more committed and
professional soldiers it would be hard to meet; they
epitomised what it meant to be a member of this family
Speaking about L/Sgt Burgan, who joined the 1st Battalion
Irish Guards in 1999 and served in Northern Ireland, Iraq
and Afghanistan, Lt Col Ghika said: “Likeable, welcoming
and with a smile on his face, he was always available to
help those less gifted than himself as a friend and mentor.
"This made him a well known and much respected figure in the Battalion."
The deaths tof L/Sgt Burgan and Major Collins take the total number of UK military personnel killed in Afghanistan to 362 since 2001.
Defence Secretary Liam Fox said: “They have laid down their lives protecting our national security, a loss made all the more poignant as they were so close to finishing their tour of duty and returning home.”
By Chris Bradley, Website Editor
More JMU Journalism stories
Lance Sergeant Mark Burgan is the second Irish Guardsman from the area to die on duty in Afghanistan
© Ministry of Defence