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British soldier, 32, dies after being attacked while off duty in Kenya

A British soldier has been killed while off duty in Kenya, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed.

Major Kevin McCool, 32, was attacked while he was on a motorcycle trip off base.

MoD officials said the soldier’s next of kin have been informed. They said he died on 29 November, but would not be releasing any details of what happened.

Grant Shapps described Mr McCool as an “exceptional person”.

The defence secretary said it is “clear from the tributes of those who knew him that Major McCool was an exceptional person and an exceptional soldier”.

He added: “My thoughts and sympathies are with his family, friends, and colleagues currently coming to terms with this most tragic loss.”

Mr McCool was commissioned from Sandhurst in August 2014 and was deployed in Europe, the Middle East, the Falklands and Africa.

His commanding officer described him as a “man of the utmost integrity” and said that Mr McCool “ was fearless and oozed moral courage”.

In a touching tribute, he added: “I will never forget my final memory of him, which was on operations; he had just come off the ground having slept a handful of hours in as many days.

“We discussed the possibility of having to deploy another team into the operational furnace from which he had just come. He stopped me mid-sentence, fixed me with his piercing blue eyes, and simply said, ‘send me’.”

And his officer commanding added that his “eyes shone with his spirit of adventure”.

The MoD said Mr McCool’s fitness was legendary, describing how he “aced” many of the military’s hardest tests, adding “his enthusiasm was infectious”.

He is survived by his mother and father, Joseph and Joan, his brothers, Fergal and Brendan, his sisters, May, Alice and Margaret.

Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer said: “My heart goes out to Maj McCool’s family, friends, and fellow soldiers today in the face of their tragic loss.

“The tributes pouring out for him show a man who served his country with pride, integrity and bravery.

“His service will not be forgotten.”