The Ministry of Defence has named the six British soldiers killed during a routine patrol in southern Afghanistan.

The soldiers killed when their armoured vehicle was hit by an improvised exposive device were: Cpl Jake Hartley, 20; Pte Anthony Frampton, 20; Pte Christopher Kershaw, 20; Pte Daniel Wade, 20; Pte Daniel Wilford, 21; and Sgt Nigel Coupe, 33.

Their deaths take the number of British soldiers killed in Afghanistan since 2001 to 404.

Sgt Coupe was from the 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment.

The five others were from the 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment, based in Warminster, Wiltshire.

Senior army and intelligence sources in Helmand province told the BBC: "The soldiers had been killed by a powerful Taliban bomb."

The Taliban said they were "very proud" of the attack.

Defence secretary Philip Hammond called the attack cowardly and said that combat troops would remain in Afghanistan until 2014.

"This will not shake our resolve to see through the mission. I believe we owe that to all the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives and put themselves at risk over the last few years," he said.