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Baby's arrival surprises British base in Afghanistan

By Alex Felton, CNN
September 21, 2012 -- Updated 1537 GMT (2337 HKT)
  • A British soldier at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan gives birth to a baby boy
  • The British Ministry of Defence didn't know soldier was pregnant when she deployed
  • She'll be brought back to the United Kingdom

(CNN) -- A huge British military base in one of the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan got a surprise arrival this week as a soldier gave birth to a baby boy.

Britain's Ministry of Defence does not allow troops to deploy on operations if they are pregnant, but the ministry didn't know the woman was expecting.

It refused to confirm reports in the British media that the soldier didn't know she was pregnant.

The mother and baby at Camp Bastion are both in stable condition in a field hospital, the ministry said.

That's the same camp where Britain's Prince Harry is stationed as an Apache helicopter pilot in the Taliban heartland of Helmand province.

The ministry said the baby was born Tuesday -- four days after a dramatic raid on the base by well-trained Afghan insurgents dressed in U.S. military uniforms.

The insurgents, working in three teams of five, infiltrated the base, killed two U.S. Marines, destroyed six jets and damaged others before most of them were killed. One attacker was wounded and captured, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said.

A medical team from John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, England, is preparing to go to Afghanistan to care for the mother, the hospital said Thursday.

The mother and baby will be brought back to the United Kingdom for treatment and care, the ministry said.

It could not confirm reports that the baby born at Camp Bastion was named Sebastian. It did not name the mother, whom British newspapers are saying is a gunner.

The ministry could not immediately say whether babies had ever been born to British military personnel before in Afghanistan.

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