Prince Andrew was “deeply impressed” when he visited soldiers in Afghanistan at the weekend.

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The Duke of York toured military bases, met up with soldiers and learnt about reconstruction work going on in southern Afghanistan.

The royal, who is fourth in line to the throne, made his visit as the toll of British military personnel to die in the country reached 100.

His spokesman said: “The Duke was deeply impressed with the courage and professionalism of the servicemen and women he met on his visit. But it comes at a very sad time when our thoughts and prayers are with those families who lost loved ones at the weekend.”

The duke returned home on Monday (09.06.08) after spending the weekend in the war-torn country. He is no stranger to military action, having served as a Royal Navy helicopter pilot during the Falklands War in 1982.

Andrew is the latest member of the British royal family to visit Afghanistan. Prince William, the second in line to the throne, went on a secret trip in April, while his younger brother Prince Harry, 23, served there for 10 weeks until his secret deployment was unveiled by an Australian newspaper and he was withdrawn.