Britain names Gurkha killed in Afghanistan

November 7th, 2008 - 5:23 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Nov 7 (IANS) The first Gurkha British Army soldier killed in Afghanistan has been named as Yubraj Rai.Rifleman Rai from the 2nd battalion of the Royal Gurkha Rifles was shot by enemy fire near Musa Qala in Helmand province Tuesday.

Rai, 28, came from Khotang district in eastern Nepal and joined the British Army in 1999 in the footsteps of his uncle as the family’s main earner.

The death has evoked a strong response in Britain, where veteran Gurkhas are fighting to be accorded the same settlement rights as other retired soldiers.

“I am told he stood out as a selfless, tough and dependable soldier. These qualities marked him out very early in his career as an ideal candidate for service with D (Gurkha Reinforcement) Company,” said Defence Minister John Hutton.

Rai’s commanding officer said the fallen soldier was “brave, strong, hard and noble; he epitomised all that makes the Gurkhas great - the best. I was proud to have known him; he will not be forgotten.”

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