A British servicewoman has given birth to a baby boy while serving in Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Defence said the soldier - who is understood to have been unaware of her pregnancy - had a son at Camp Bastion on Tuesday.

Both mother and baby are in a stable condition and are due to be flown home in the coming days after a specialist medical team from the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford arrives in the Helmand Province base.

The birth came just four days after two US Marines were killed and six planes destroyed during an attack on the desert base in Helmand province, where the bulk of the UK's 9,500-strong force in Afghanistan are deployed.

Taliban sources claimed Bastion was targeted because Prince Harry is serving there as an Apache attack helicopter gunner.

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An MoD spokesman said: "We can confirm that on September 18 a UK servicewoman serving in Afghanistan gave birth in the Camp Bastion Field Hospital to a baby boy.

"Mother and baby are both in a stable condition in the hospital and are receiving the best possible care.

"A specialist Paediatric Retrieval Team is being prepared and will deploy in the next few days in order to provide appropriate care for mother and baby on the flight home."

Scroll down for more pictures of Prince Harry at Camp Bastion
camp bastion

The solider is understood to have been unaware of her pregnancy and was five months into her tour of duty when she gave birth

The spokesman added: "It is not military policy to allow service women to deploy on operations if they are pregnant. In this instance the MoD was unaware of her pregnancy.

"As with all medical cases, when the need arises, individuals are returned to the UK for appropriate treatment/care."

According to the Daily Mail, the woman served as a gunner with the Royal Artillery, and had been deployed with the 17th Mechanised Brigade since March.

The newspaper said she only discovered she was pregnant after she went to medics complaining of stomach pains, and the baby was born five weeks premature.

The Sun says the soldier passed all fitness tests and training, including an eight-mile march with a 25lb backpack, despite having been four months pregnant when she was deployed.

A source told the paper: “It’s a hell of a story for mum and son. They are both doing really well. After the terrible events of Saturday, this little lad’s been an unexpected morale boost.”

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  • Prince Harry tour of duty in Afghanistan

    Embargoed to 1100 Friday September 7.Prince Harry gives a thumbs up after he walked passed the Apache flight-line at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan, where he will be operating from during his tour of duty as a co-pilot gunner.

  • Prince Harry tour of duty in Afghanistan

    Embargoed to 1100 Friday September 7.Prince Harry walks passed the Apache flight-line with a member of his squadron (name not provided) at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan, where he will be operating from during his tour of duty as a co-pilot gunner.

  • Prince Harry tour of duty in Afghanistan

    Embargoed to 1100 Friday September 7.Prince Harry is shown the Apache flight-line by a member of his squadron (name not provided) at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan, where he will be operating from during his tour of duty as a co-pilot gunner.

  • Prince Harry tour of duty in Afghanistan

    Embargoed to 1100 Friday September 7.Prince Harry is shown the Apache flight-line by a member of his squadron (name not provided) at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan, where he will be operating from during his tour of duty as a co-pilot gunner.

  • Prince Harry tour of duty in Afghanistan

    Embargoed to 1100 Friday September 7.Prince Harry examines the 30mm cannon of an Apache helicopter at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan, where he will be operating from during his tour of duty as a co-pilot gunner.

  • Prince Harry tour of duty in Afghanistan

    Embargoed to 1100 Friday September 7.Prince Harry is shown the Apache flight-line by a member of his squadron (name not provided) at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan, where he will be operating from during his tour of duty as a co-pilot gunner.

  • Prince Harry tour of duty in Afghanistan

    Embargoed to 1100 Friday September 7.Prince Harry is shown the Apache flight-line by a member of his squadron (name not provided) at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan, where he will be operating from during his tour of duty as a co-pilot gunner.

  • Prince Harry tour of duty in Afghanistan

    Embargoed to 1100 Friday September 7.Prince Harry is shown the Apache flight-line by a member of his squadron (name not provided) at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan, where he will be operating from during his tour of duty as a co-pilot gunner.

  • Prince Harry tour of duty in Afghanistan

    Embargoed to 1100 Friday September 7.NOTE ALTERNATE CROP.Prince Harry gives a thumbs up after he walked passed the Apache flight-line at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan, where he will be operating from during his tour of duty as a co-pilot gunner.

  • Prince Harry tour of duty in Afghanistan

    Embargoed to 1100 Friday September 7.Prince Harry is shown the Apache flight-line by a member of his squadron (name not provided) at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan, where he will be operating from during his tour of duty as a co-pilot gunner.

  • Prince Harry tour of duty in Afghanistan

    Embargoed to 1100 Friday September 7.Commander of the Joint Aviation Group, Captain Jock Gordon (Royal Navy), who will be Prince Harry's commanding Officer at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan.

  • Prince Harry tour of duty in Afghanistan

    File photo dated 08/02/2008 of Prince Harry on patrol through the deserted town of Garmisir close to FOB Delhi (forward operating base), where he was posted in Helmand province Southern Afghanistan. Prince Harry has returned to Afghanistan to fly attack helicopters in the fight against the Taliban.

  • Prince Harry tour of duty in Afghanistan

    File photo dated 01/03/2008 of Prince Harry sitting in his Spartan armoured vehicle in the desert in Helmand province in Southern Afghanistan. Prince Harry has returned to Afghanistan to fly attack helicopters in the fight against the Taliban.

  • Prince Harry tour of duty in Afghanistan

    File photo dated 01/03/2008 of Prince Harry on patrol through the deserted town of Garmisir close to FOB (forward operating base) Delhi, where he was posted in Helmand province Southern Afghanistan. Prince Harry has returned to Afghanistan to fly attack helicopters in the fight against the Taliban.

  • Prince Harry tour of duty in Afghanistan

    File photo dated 28/02/2008 of Prince Harry manning the 50mm machine gun on the observation post at JTAC Hill, close to FOB Delhi (forward operating base), in Helmand province Southern Afghanistan. Prince Harry has returned to Afghanistan to fly attack helicopters in the fight against the Taliban.

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