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Posted by on Jun 24, 2008 in At TMV | 0 comments

Afghanistan: First Woman Soldier Killed

sarah bryant

The young Corporal Sarah Bryant, a member of the British Intelligence Corps, has become the first female soldier to be killed in Afghanistan. The mortal remains of Sarah and three other soldiers killed on June 17, when a device exploded in Helmand province near their base at Lashkar Gar, have reached Britain. (Photo above of Sarah on her wedding day to her husband Carl Bryant in 2005).

Reports The Telegraph: “The sight of Sarah Bryant’s bare shoulders in her wedding dress is almost unbearably poignant. Two years ago, she was a glowing bride; now the 26-year-old is wearing a body bag, having been blown up when her Land Rover was hit by an explosion on Tuesday afternoon. The grief of the family and friends…

“Her death will naturally revive those old arguments about whether women are suited to the battlefield. It is always so when something happens for the first time and Cpl Bryant is the first woman to die in the British Armed Forces in Afghanistan.” More here…

A floral tribute at the town’s memorial read: “To an English rose and her comrades. Rest in peace.” In what her family described as an ‘amazing life’ she had also served in Iraq and learned Pashtu so she could help train the Afghan security forces.

The Independent reports: “The number of British servicewomen killed in Afghanistan and Iraq now stands at seven. About 700 of the British force of just under 8,000 in Afghanistan are female. A number of those serving in Helmand and Kandahar are members of the Intelligence Corps and fluent in Pashtu, while others are based in Kabul with a proficiency in Dari, the language of the Tajiks and Uzbeks.

“The Defence Secretary Des Browne said: ‘We have now lost nine soldiers in 10 days and every single one of them is a tragedy’.” More here…

The BBC adds: “The death of Cpl Sarah Bryant in Afghanistan has brought the subject of women in the military to the fore.”