Afghanistan death toll tops 400

Six soldiers missing presumed killed Photo: ITV Central

Six soldiers are missing, believed killed, after an armoured vehicle was caught in an explosion in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence said today.

The group - which included five soldiers from the 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment and one from the 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment - was on a mounted patrol when their Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicle was struck.

If the servicemen are confirmed dead, it would take the total number of British forces personnel or MoD civilians who have died while serving in the war-torn region to more than 400 since the start of operations in October 2001.

Patrick Mercer, Tory MP for Newark said the news was extremely sad but he was sure morale would not be dented by the news.

"Extremely sad, clearly for the soldiers that have been killed, for their families and obviously for the Batallion. It's a fine Batallion with a great record. I'm sure their morale will not be dented but nevertheless it's a blow to take."

– Patrick Mercer, MP for Newark