The soldiers died in an explosion during a vehicle patrol in the Lashkar Gah district of Helmand province, the Ministry of Defence said.

The soldiers, who died on Saturday, were from The Queen’s Royal Lancers and the Royal Engineers.

They were part of a ground domination patrol when they were struck by an explosion, said Lt Col James Carr-Smith, a spokesman for Task Force Helmand.

The election has been marred by deadly violence and concerns over widespread fraud, including the apparent use of fake voter cards at some polling stations.

Today, the bodies of two poll workers who were kidnapped in Balkh province were discovered adding to the 21 civilians and nine police officers already killed.

The attacks on civilians – many of which were blamed on the Taliban – meant a number of polling stations were closed because of security problems and turnout was estimated at just 24 per cent.

Britain’s foreign secretary William Hague said the vote was an ‘important step towards a secure and stable Afghanistan’ but The Free and Fair Elections Foundation of Afghanistan said it had ‘serious concerns’ about the poll.

‘Ballot stuffing [multiple voting] was seen to varying extents in most provinces, as were proxy voting and underage voting,’ said the foundation.

.The carnage continued in Kunduz province when six children died in an insurgent rocket attack and eight children were killed while playing with a rocket round left in a village.

by metro