British troops suffer four times as many fatalities as Americans in Afghanistan

December 22nd, 2008 - 5:00 pm ICT by ANI  


London, Dec 22 (ANI): Statistics indicate that British forces have suffered four times as many fatalities in Afghanistan in the past seven weeks as their American allies.

According to a report in the Telegraph, the statistics show that Britain is now experiencing more than a third of all casualties in Afghanistan at a time when other NATO countries have been accused of failing to step up to the mark in providing combat forces.

Despite contributing more than 8,000 troops to the total foreign force of about 50,000, the British have suffered 14 deaths since November 1.

On the other hand, the US lost three soldiers from its deployment of 31,000.

Commanders have criticized the lack of helicopters for the British force that means more road transport is vulnerable to attack.

Colonel Richard Kemp, who commanded all British forces in Afghanistan in 2004, said aside from the US, Britain had the highest number of troops in combat operations.

In the latest fatality, a Royal Marine from the Commando Logistics Regiment was killed in an explosion in Helmand province.

He was taking part in a routine move after operations to the north-west of Lashkar Gah.

Helmand is probably the most dangerous place in Afghanistan and is probably the most active Taliban area, Kemp told the Telegraph. Also, the nature of British operations have since 2007 been more offensive, he added.

Canada, which has a brigade stationed in Kandahar province next to Helmand, has seen six deaths in November and December. The US, which has most forces in the east, has suffered three deaths.

Since November 1, 14 British soldiers have died compared with six Canadians, three Americans, five Danes, two Spaniards and one soldier each from Australia, France and the Netherlands.

According to British Defence Secretary, John Hutton, the Government would consider very carefully any request from Barack Obama, the US President-Elect, for more troops. (ANI)

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