Despite 100th soldier’s death, British army seeks public support for Afghan warDecember 8th, 2009 - 1:54 pm ICT by ANI
London, Dec. 8 (ANI): Even as the death toll of British soldiers reached 100 in Afghanistan, British Army chief General Sir David Richards is trying to gather public support for the campaign in which 237 service personnel have lost their lives since 2001.
The British Defence Ministry announced on Monday that a soldier from 1st Bn The Royal Anglian Regiment, was shot and killed in a gunfight with Taliban insurgents in the Nad-e Ali area of central Helmand province.
The latest soldier’s death came amid mounting public and political unease, eight years after the invasion that toppled the Taliban regime in Kabul, over the Afghan mission.
Sir David said that “we must steel ourselves for the cost” of continuing the Afghan mission.Warning that more British troops would be killed in the upcoming months, Sir David said: “We must steel ourselves for the cost” of continuing the Afghan mission.
“The soldiers in Afghanistan now will grieve for their fallen comrade, but will then go forward with renewed determination. I would ask all of you to do the same,” The Telegraph quoted him, as saying.
Sir David urged British voters not to let their sadness over British deaths blind them to what he said was the importance of the mission.
“We are in this for the long haul and we must steel ourselves for the cost of success in this essential campaign… as soldiers we understand and accept the risk of death or injury as part of our job. We do this because we believe in what we are doing and the support of the British people is important to us,” he said.
British commanders are worried that waning public support for the war will put pressure on politicians to seek an early exit.
Meanwhile, Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, the Chief of the Defence Staff, insisted that the Afgfhan mission is delivering real benefits.
“Each death is a sad loss, and we mourn every one. We remember those who have given their lives, the bereaved families and friends who are left behind, and all those who have been injured. We also remember, though, what they have achieved through their sacrifice this year,” he said. (ANI)
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