A British fighter who had been battling Islamic State in Syria has been killed while clearing landmines.

Jac Holmes, 24, had been fighting alongside Kurdish troops to force the Muslim extremists from their stronghold in Raqqa.

But his family said the sniper from Bournemouth, who had joined the Kurdistan People's Protection Units in January 2015, was killed on Monday (23 October).

His mother, Angie Blannin, said she was "extremely proud" of her son who joined the fight against Islamic State with no previous military experience.

She told the BBC: "He stuck by his convictions because he wanted to be there and he wanted to see the end of Raqqa and to see the end of the caliphate. That was a moment in history, and he wanted to be part of it.

"He was just a boy when he left the UK, a little bit lost. He told me he didn't know what he wanted to do with his life. But by going out there, he found something that he was good at and that he loved."

Blannin said she was told of her only child's death hours after it happened by Kurdish officials who said that he had been clearing mines to help civilians within the city.

She added: "We thought with any luck he'd be home for Christmas. It had been so tough since he had been away but I was always 100% behind him.

"After all this, he had said he might go into politics, or perhaps into close protection security. He'd seen so much for a boy of his age."

Holmes had become one of the longest-serving foreign volunteers in the Syrian conflict. This was his third tour fighting alongside the Kurds, with this trip lasting more than a year.

The Brit, who had learned to speak Kurdish fluently, was part of a four-man sniper unit made up of international fighters from Spain, the US and Germany.

The Home Office warns against all travel to Syria.