Fijian soldier killed in Afghanistan

A Fijian soldier who was killed in Afghanistan over the weekend was on his third tour of duty.

Private Ratu Manasa Silibaravi, 32, was killed in an indirect fire attack on an operating base Ouellette, in the northern part of Nahr-e Saraj district in Afghanistan with his British colleague Corporal Andrew Steven Roberts.

Mr Silibaravi was new to the specialist role of advanced searcher which involved working to detect makeshift bombs.

He joined the army in 2002 and served in Iraq and Afghanistan and was on his third tour of duty.

Lieutenant Colonel Dom Fletcher said he was a highly valued member of his search team.

"A quiet, yet determined and popular soldier, Private Silibaravi was a professional and committed individual. Strong and fit, he had an excellent work ethic, throwing himself wholeheartedly at every challenge. The number of operational tours that he had successfully completed is testament to his dedication and professionalism,'' he told Fijilive.

Silibaravi, known as Sili or Prince, was described as a "soldier's soldier'' and praised for his quiet confidence.

A total of 412 members of UK's armed forces have died since operations in Afghanistan began in October 200, including 10 Fijian-born soldiers.

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