4 Jan 2011

British government pays tribute to Fiji soldier

2:48 pm on 4 January 2011

The British government has paid tribute to a Fiji soldier killed in Afghanistan on New Year's Day.

Private Joseva Vatubua died in a blast caused by an improvised explosive device during a British army operation in the southern Afghan province of Helmand.

Private Vatubua was born in Suva and joined the British Army in 2007.

He played for the Army Rugby Sevens and sung in the Royal Regiment of Scotland Fijian Choir.

His commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Harrison, described Private Vatubua as a Fijian legend, a proud, adopted Jock and a warrior of fearsome repute.

The British Secretary of State for Defence, Dr Liam Fox, said his thoughts were with the deceased man's family and the Fijian community.