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British soldier killed in Afghan explosion

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

London, Dec 19, IRNA -- A British soldier from 2nd Battalion, The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, has been killed in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence announced Saturday.

The soldier was said to have died from wounds sustained in a blast while on foot patrol in the Nad-e-Ali area of Helmand Province, where the majority of Britain’s 10,000 troops are deployed.

The latest death brings the total number of UK troops to have been killed in Afghanistan to 240 since the overthrow of the Taliban regime in 2001. The number has doubled in the last 18 months, including 103 so far this year.

Last week, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that his government was providing more equipment for British troops in Afghanistan, including specialist support to counter improvised explosive devices (IEDs), which have been responsible for 75 per cent of British deaths.

“The latest tranche of urgent operational funding from the Treasury will include an extra £10 million for hand-held mine detectors to follow the £12 million set aside earlier for new explosive disposal robots, over 30 of which are now in operation tracking IEDs,” Brown told MPs.

He also announced a package of longer-term investment in counter-IED capability, including new and enhanced facilities for training and for intelligence.

“This will amount to an extra £50 million a year—£150 million in total this year and over the next two years,” Brown said after his latest visit to Helmand.


End News / IRNA / News Code 851586

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