Reuters top ten news stories delivered to your inbox each day.
You are here:
Business & Finance
The Great Debate
Do More With Reuters
Make Reuters My Homepage
Support (Customer Zone)
About Thomson Reuters
Eight British troops killed in Afghanistan
Sat Jul 11, 2009 2:52am EDT
Email | Print |
| Reprints | Single Page
By Matt Falloon
L'AQUILA, Italy (Reuters) - Britain said on Friday it had lost eight soldiers in Afghanistan in the space of 24 hours, and Prime Minister Gordon Brown said troops faced a "very hard summer," suggesting it should brace itself for more losses.
The deaths, announced by the Ministry of Defense, included five who were killed in two blasts while on foot patrol, the highest death toll in a single attack.
Britain has now lost 184 soldiers in Afghanistan since it joined the U.S.-led invasion in 2001, more than the 179 fatalities during its campaign in Iraq that began in 2003.
Fifteen soldiers, including four officers, have been killed in the past 10 days alone.
Brown said there was no question of pulling soldiers out of Afghanistan until the international community had finished its mission there and quelled the threat from the Taliban.
"This is a very hard summer -- it's not over," Brown told reporters at the G8 summit in Italy. "But it's vital that the international community sees through its commitments."
"Our resolve to complete the work that we have started in Afghanistan is undiminished," he said. "We must help deliver a free and fair presidential election in Afghanistan."
Britain has boosted troop levels to around 9,000 from 8,100 to improve security ahead of and during Afghanistan's second presidential election, due to be held on August 20.
More heavy losses in Afghanistan may damage public support for the deployment and further hurt the Labour government's already poor opinion poll ratings ahead of a parliamentary election due by mid-2010.
Critics have said Britain is placing soldiers at risk by not deploying a big enough force and failing to give troops the equipment they need, especially helicopters and better armored vehicles to withstand deadly Taliban roadside bombs.
"I think we have responded to the demands of the military for extra equipment for particular things -- night vision equipment -- but also for armored vehicles and the protection of these vehicles as well as the helicopters," Brown said.
"I think you've got to accept that this is very difficult terrain. This is the season when we're dealing with the Afghan Taliban."
Most of those killed in recent days have died as a result of bomb blasts, with the Taliban using increasingly sophisticated technology to detonate bigger, better disguised mines and bombs planted by the roadside.
The attacks are an attempt by the Taliban to stall a large-scale operation by U.S. and British troops across southern Afghanistan where the Taliban remain strong, especially in the provinces of Helmand and Kandahar. Continued...
View article on single page
U.S. drone strike kills 5 militants in Pakistan
also on reuters
Commentary: For Palin, rules have never applied
Google CEO to discuss his role on Apple's board
Video: H2-No: Town bans bottled water sales
More International News
China raises Xinjiang death toll to 184
Honduras rivals agree more talks to pursue solution
U.S. drone strike kills 5 militants in Pakistan
Australia presses China on detained Rio exec
North Korea army behind South web attack: report
More International News...
FACTBOX - Military deaths in Afghanistan
A selection of our best photos from the past 24 hours. Slideshow
Most Popular on Reuters
Ryan Reynolds cast as "Green Lantern"
UPDATE 1-Jackson's dad suspects "foul play" in death
Obama tells pope he wants to reduce abortions in U.S. | Video
CORRECTED - Obesity emerges as new risk factor for severe flu
Wall St Week Ahead: Bank earnings, data to call shots for stocks
Berlin 'sex academy' offers tips for visitors
Goldman Sachs profit bonanza could stoke anger
GM exits bankruptcy | Video
Drunk badger disrupts traffic
Americans swap homes for hotels as recession bites
Most Popular Articles RSS Feed
Obama arrives in Ghana
Geithner: get tough on derivatives
Bull gores man to death in Pamplona
Pope, Obama meet
Obama's tough talk on Iran
Pamplona bull runner dies
Carla Bruni sees L'Aquila face-lift
G8 pledge billions in farm aid
Troops control China's trouble spot
Most Popular Videos RSS Feed
We want to hear from you
Join the Reuters Consumer Insight Panel and help us get to know you better
Please take a moment to complete our survey
Help and Contact Us |
Advertise With Us |
Site Index |
Thomson Reuters Corporate:
Professional Products |
Professional Products Support |
About Thomson Reuters |
Latin America |
United Kingdom |
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.