200th British soldier dies in Afghanistan

LONDON- A British soldier died Saturday of wounds sustained in operations in Afghanistan, bringing to 200 the number of British troops to die since the 2001 US-led invasion, the Ministry of Defence said.
The soldier, from the 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh, died in hospital in central England after being injured in an explosion while on vehicle patrol in the southern Afghan province of Helmand on August 13, it said in a statement.

200th British soldier dies in Afghanistan
The latest death brings the toll to 200 British troops who have died since operations against the Taliban extremists in Afghanistan began in October 2001.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the milestone was "deeply tragic", but said British troops were on a vital mission to stop the Al-Qaeda network using Afghanistan as a base for attacks on Britain and elsewhere.
"Today is a day of mourning, and also a day of reflection. I want to thank the entire armed forces and the families and communities which sustain them. We owe it to you all never to forget those who have died," he said.
"But my commitment is clear: we must and will make Britain safer by making Afghanistan more stable. We will honour and support those who have been killed or wounded in the field of battle.
And we will give those who fight on all the support that they need to succeed in this vital mission."
At least 168 of those killed died as a result of hostile action. The rest died either as a result of illness, non-combat injuries or accidents, or have yet to be officially assigned a cause of death.
Thirty-one British troops have been killed since the start of July. The spike in deaths came as British troops launched Operation Panther's Claw in the build-up to the Afghan presidential election on August 20.

Sunday, August 16th 2009

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