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Another British solider killed in Sangin

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

London, Jan 25, IRNA -- A British soldier has died from wounds received as a result of an explosion near Sangin, in Helmand Province, on Sunday, the Ministry of Defence in London has confirmed.

Lt Col David Wakefield, spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said the solider was on a foot patrol as part of the operations to bring security to the local population in the area.

“It happened in the 'green zone' area to the south of Sangin district centre, an area where until recently insurgents had held sway,” Wakefield said.

The British death is the second in three days caused by an explosion in the Sangin area. Two others were also killed in the region on January 15 and five in December.

The latest victim brings the total number of British troops killed in the eight-year war in Afghanistan to 251, just four less than during the 1982 war against Argentina over the Falklands Islands, Britain’s bloodiest conflict in more than 50 years.

Reports have suggested that British troops may be on the verge of leaving such government outposts as Sangin in Helmand province as thousands of American reinforcements pour into Afghanistan.

A decision is expected to be made within the next few weeks by Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s government on whether British troops are to be primarily confined to the areas first envisioned when they were deployed in Helmand in 2006.

British troops were supposed to focus on the five districts around Lashkar Gah, where most of Helmand’s population lives, in 2006, but the plan was abandoned after pressure from President Hamid Karzai and provincial governors.

The result has been that the majority of the 251 British troops killed and hundreds more injured in Afghanistan were suffered in the upper reaches of Helmand valley in Sangin, Musa Qala and Kajaki and the poppy fields around them.


End News / IRNA / News Code 918190

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