LONDON- An army search dog killed in Afghanistan is to receive the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross.

Sasha, a four-year-old yellow Labrador, will be awarded the Dickin Medal by the PDSA animal charity. She is thought to have saved the lives of dozens of soldiers and Afghan civilians by sniffing out explosive devices and weapons. She died alongside her handler, Lance Corposal Kenneth Rowe, when they were ambushed in a rocket-propelled grenade attack. L.Col Rowe 24, was due to return home the day he died but asked to remain in Afghanistan as he was concerned about a lack of cover for his colleagues. The soldier's mother Lyn said her son would be very happy to know about Sasha's award. Kenneth always adored animals and loved working with his dogs. He took his role protecting his fellow soldiers very seriously. We are so proud of him and he would be incredibly proud that Sasha's bravery was being recognised. The PDSA's director general Jan McLoughlin, said Sasha's bravery "exemplifies the dedication of man's best friend and reminds us all of the amazing contribution they make to our lives."