An Irish citizen serving with the British army's Royal Irish Regiment has been killed in Afghanistan, the Department of Foreign Affairs has confirmed.

According to reports, Justin Cupples was killed in an explosion while on a routine foot patrol near Sangin, in the south of the country.

Lieutenant Colonel David Reynolds, spokesman for British forces in Afghanistan, said: 'This is a tragic loss and one that will be felt across the taskforce.

'Our thoughts and sympathies are with the friends and family at this most difficult time.'