Princes' tribute to fallen trooper

Princes WIlliam and Harry have led tributes to a soldier killed when his patrol vehicle hit a mine in Afghanistan.


Trooper Ratu Babakobau, 29, from Fiji, was killed and three other soldiers were injured on Friday when they were providing protection for a patrol in the Nowzad district of Helmand province. An Afghan national was also injured.
The four soldiers were all members of the Household Cavalry Regiment, the same regiment as the Princes, and Trooper Babakobau was part of the same 60-strong squadron as William.

A Clarence House spokesman said: "Together with the rest of the regiment both Prince William and Prince Harry are deeply saddened to hear of the death of Trooper Babakobau and their thoughts are with his family and the families of those injured at this difficult time."
Trooper Babakobau is survived by his wife Camari and two sons, Ratu Seru, four, and Ratu Sakeasi Sucumailodoni Selamu, one.
Captain Tom Long of the Household Cavalry's D Squadron, in which Trooper Babakobau served, said: "He was a larger than life character with a hugely infectious smile.
"He was instantly likeable with a gentle and caring nature that belied his stature.
"His physical strength was mirrored in his strong moral and ethical bearing.
"His loss will be keenly felt by all in D Squadron and at both regiments in the UK where he made a lasting impression on everyone he met."

Trooper Babakobau's death takes the number of British personnel to die in Afghanistan to 95 since 2001.
The three other British casualties are receiving treatment for their injuries at the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) medical facility at the regional headquarters Camp Bastion.

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Von: 3.5.2008,

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