Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Six British Troops Killed in South Afghanistan

Six UK troops killed in south Afghanistan

Wed Mar 7, 2012 11:20AM GMT

Six British soldiers have been killed when their armored vehicle was caught in a powerful explosion in the troubled southern Afghanistan.

Britain’s Ministry of Defense said on Wednesday that the soldiers were killed on routine patrol northwest of Durai Junction in Helmand province when their vehicle was struck on Tuesday evening.

All six soldiers were killed, five from 3rd battalion the Yorkshire Regiment and one from 1st Battalion the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.

Britain reportedly has around 9,500 soldiers in Afghanistan, making it the second largest force in the country after the United States.

The latest deaths bring to 404 the number of British soldiers killed in war-battered Afghanistan since the US-led invasion of the country in 2001.

The British government has been under pressure to detail its withdrawal strategy but has refused to set out its plans until the United States makes a decision.

Insecurity continues to rise across Afghanistan despite the presence of some 130,000 US-led forces in the Asian country.

The United Nations announced on February 4 that 2011 was the deadliest on record for Afghan civilians. The death toll rose eight percent compared to the year before and was roughly double the figure for 2007.

Overall, 3,021 civilians died in violence related to the war and 4,507 were wounded in 2011. Of the deaths, the UN attributed 77 percent to militant attacks and 14 percent to US-led foreign troops and Afghan forces. Nine percent of the cases were classified as unknown.

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