The moment a U.S. Marine ran to safety as an explosion killed two of his comrades in Afghanistan was caught on camera.

The Improvised Explosive Device (IED) killed two members of the U.S. 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade instantly on Monday, shredding their armor and throwing their bodies into a canal.

But Sergeant Anthony Zabala, 31, had a lucky escape.

"I turned away and felt rocks in the air as they came over my back," he said. "That was it."

The troops, part of a foot patrol, had been advancing painstakingly with metal detectors and bare hands to defuse bombs planted on a rough track in Garmsir district, Helmand Province.

The unit has been in Afghanistan only a short time as part of a surge of 21,000 extra U.S. troops sent by President Obama to quell the Taliban insurgency.

Click here to see the escape photos.

IEDs, which are cheap to make and require few personnel to plant, are the deadliest weapons used by Taliban forces in the country.

Six U.S. soldiers have been killed by IEDs in Helmand over the past few days alone.

Seven of the eight British soldiers killed in Helmand last Friday, the UK's bloodiest day in combat since the war began, were victims of IEDs.

The roadside bombs have been responsible for the deaths of 36 of the 47 British troops in the country this year.

Forty nations are currently contributing around 50,000 troops to the Nato-led security force in Afghanistan.

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