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UK sends more troops to southern Afghanistan as fighting escalates
British Defence Secretary Des Browne has announced the deployment of almost 900 extra troops to southern Afghanistan.
The reinforcements—which will increase UK troop levels from the current 3,600 to around 4,500 by October—will be sent to the volatile Helmand province. It will include 320 engineers from 28 Regiment Royal Engineers in order to “accelerate the reconstruction effort,” the government said.
A company from 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines is to provide “force protection” for engineers and an extra infantry company, from the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, will also provide more mobile forces.
Some 450 reservists are also being called up to fill posts “in theatre.” A “small increase” in HQ staff and medical and logistical support is also planned and additional military support helicopters—probably Chinooks and Lynxs—will also be made available.
Browne’s emergency statement to the House of Commons came just days after the death of another British soldier from fighting in Helmand province—the sixth in less than a month.
On July 5, Private Damien Raymond Jackson, 19, of South Shields, Tyne and Wear, from the 3 Para Battle Group, was shot and killed while on patrol near the town of Sangin. In a statement, his father Daniel said the family wanted it to be known that their pride in their son did not mean they were “supporting or condoning a government policy which has placed our young men and women in such dreadful danger.”