UK journalist killed in Afghan blast

A British journalist was killed in an explosion in Afghanistan yesterday, the Ministry of Defence announced today.

A Norfolk-born man has been killed in Afghanistan where he was working as a journalist, it has been confirmed today.

Rupert Hamer, who trained at the Eastern Daily Press in the 1980s, was working as the Sunday Mirror's defence correspondent when he died following a blast north-west of Nawa.

The 39-year-old father-of-three, who lived in London, was embedded with US marines when they were caught in the explosion while on patrol, which also injured the newspaper's photographer Phil Coburn and killed a marine and an Afghan soldier.

Mr Hamer, who went to Town Close School in Norwich before boarding at Gresham's School, regularly returned to Norfolk, where members of his family, including his father, still live.

Defence secretary Bob Ainsworth said: “Both Rupert Hamer and Phil Coburn accompanied me on my most recent trip to Afghanistan.

“I got to know them well and I was impressed by their hard work and professionalism.

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“My thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the families, friends and colleagues of both men at this extremely distressing time.”

Mr Hamer, who had been in Afghanistan since New Year's Eve, had been the Sunday Mirror's defence correspondent since 2004 and had covered the armed forces across the Middle East and central Asia, the Oman, Bahrain, Iraq and Afghanistan.

If you would like to pay tribute to Mr Hamer, email