LONDON — The partner of a British marine killed in Afghanistan paid tribute to the soldier saying he "lived to be a hero and died a hero".
Lance Corporal Michael Taylor, 30, was the fourth from 40 Commando Royal Marines to die in four days, during a week that saw the British toll in Afghanistan reach 303.
"Michael you were my soul mate, you were the best loving partner and dad anyone could have asked for. You lived to be a hero and died a hero. We are all extremely proud of you and always will be. Your legacy will live on through your three wonderful boys who will inspire to be just like you," Sonia Fleming said.
Taylor was killed by small arms fire during a gunfight with insurgent forces in the Sangin District of Helmand Province, where most of Britain's 9,500 troops in Afghanistan are deployed battling the Taliban.
"He was conducting a security patrol to reassure local nationals in the area around the patrol base when the fire-fight occurred," the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.
On Monday, officials announced the 300th military death in Afghanistan since 2001, prompting Prime Minister David Cameron to pledge to withdraw troops as soon as the war-torn state can handle its own security -- but not before.
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