Six soldiers killed in Afghanistan explosion

X-Factor's Jonjo Kerr is in Afghanistan
X-Factor's Jonjo Kerr is in Afghanistan

A total of six soldiers have been killed in an explosion in Afghanistan, including five from the regiment of Chorley X-factor star Jonjo Kerr.

The Ministry of defence has confirmed five of the those missing, presumed dead, were from the 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, in which JonJo who was deployed two weeks ago to serve in Helmand Province.

The other, believed to be from Lancashire, was from 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.

The soldiers were caught in an explosion while travelling in their armoured vehicle in southern Afghanistan.

It is believed that dad-of-two Jonjo, 28, is still alive, since his next of kin have not been informed otherwise.

Talking to the Chorley Guardian, Jonjo’s manager, Dean Maynard, said: “It’s very emotional.

“Jonjo’s wife, Melissa, is relieved, but at the same time is very saddened about the news of Jonjo’s friends.”

The soldiers were on a mounted patrol when their Warrior armoured fighting vehicle exploded.

Lieutenant Colonel Gordon Mackenzie, spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said: “I have the tragic duty to report that six soldiers are missing, believed killed, during a security patrol.

“The six soldiers, five from 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment and one from 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, were on patrol in a Warrior armoured fighting vehicle when it was caught in an explosion in the Task Force Helmand Area of Operations.”

And The Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond, said: “This tragic incident brings home to us the dangers that are faced on a daily basis by the men and women of our Armed Forces deployed in Afghanistan.

“My thoughts are with the families and friends of the six soldiers who are missing, believed killed, and also with their colleagues, both in Afghanistan and the UK, whose brave work continues or is about to start.”

Details are still being confirmed and information will continue to be released.