LONDON // A British soldier wounded in an explosion in Afghanistan died yesterday, the defence ministry said, bringing the country's military death toll there to 201. The prime minister Gordon Brown called the grim milestone "deeply tragic news". It is sure to raise more questions about Britain's increasingly perilous mission in Afghanistan. The Ministry of Defence said the soldier from 2nd Battalion the Royal Welsh died yesterday at a military hospital in England. He had been wounded in a blast while on vehicle patrol on Thursday in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan. Three other British troops were killed by roadside bombs in a separate incident in Afghanistan the same day. Britain has about 9,000 troops in Afghanistan, most based in Helmand, a centre of Taliban insurgents. The British military suffered 22 fatalities in July, its bloodiest month since the invasion of Afghanistan in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Nine British troops have been killed so far this month. The rising toll - more than the 179 personnel who died in Iraq - has reignited a debate in Britain about its role in the war and the quality of its military equipment. The Afghan campaign has long been divisive, with polls showing Britons about evenly split between supporters and opponents of the mission.