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  1. ITV Report

Tributes to Oxfordshire soldiers

Two soldiers named Photo: Ministry of Defence

Two Oxfordshire based soldiers killed in Afghanistan have been named. Cpl Andrew Roberts, who was 32 and had three young children, was killed alongside Pvt Ratu Silibaravi, also 32, in an indirect fire attack on their base on Friday. They both served in 23 Pioneer Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps, based in Bicester.

Friends and relatives hailed their bravery, as Army bosses said they "undoubtedly" saved the lives of both Afghans and fellow servicemen.

Cpl Roberts' children - Jessica, six, Kyle, five and Kayla, three - paid tribute to their father.

They said: "For our brave Dad who went away to build sandcastles and stop the bad men hurting people. We love you to the moon and back.

"You are an angel in Heaven now looking down on us all, we wish yesterday had never happened and you were still here to phone us and take us out.

"You were the best Dad, we remember all the fun things we did, we will never forget you and will love you forever. You are our Hero and we will pray for you always."

Besides his children, Cpl Roberts also leaves behind his girlfriend Paula Ewers, his parents, Pauline and Stephen, and his brothers and sisters, Tracey, Mark, Darren, Michael and Emma.

Fiji-born Private Silibaravi - known as Sili or Prince - was described as a "soldier's soldier" and praised for his "quiet confidence" and "clear inner strength".

The serviceman, who leaves behind his parents, Meli and Merewalesi, his brother Saimoni, and sister Mereoni, was new to the specialist role of advanced searcher.

His job also involved working to detect make-shift bombs.

Lieutenant Colonel Dom Fletcher, Commanding Officer, 23 Pioneer Regiment RLC, said: "Private Ratu Silibaravi was one of my most experienced soldiers.

"Steadfast, redoubtable and brave, this soldier was a Pioneer to his core."

He said the soldier "always gave 100% to any task" and "died amongst his friends".