Monday, 2 August 2010

"The British death toll in the Afghan campaign since 2001 now stands at 327" (today's Daily Telegraph)

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Here is the report from the Daily Telegraph:

"Two British servicemen have been killed in southern Afghanistan in separate incidents, the Ministry of Defence said.

A soldier, from 1st Battalion Scots Guards, was killed by small arms fire in the Lashkar Gah District of Helmand Province on Sunday.

A Royal Marine, from 40 Commando, died in an explosion while on foot patrol in the Sangin District of Helmand Province the same day.

The spokesman for Task Force Helmand, Lieutenant Colonel David Southall, said: "It is with great sadness I inform you that a soldier from 1st Battalion Scots Guards was killed in Lashkar Gah District of Helmand Province yesterday afternoon.

"Commanding his men, he was killed in action by small arms fire whilst providing security to the Afghan people.

"His selfless courage and sacrifice in the course of his duty will not be forgotten.

"In a separate incident, a Marine from 40 Commando Royal Marines was killed in Sangin, Helmand Province, yesterday afternoon.

"Deployed within a foot patrol providing local security to the people in the district, he died in an explosion.

"He gave his life whilst seeking to improve the lives of ordinary Afghans. His sacrifice will not be forgotten."

The deaths come as British troops are involved in a major push to bring the whole of Nad-e-Ali district in the province under total coalition control, although the latest victims of the war were not involved.

Operation Tor Shezada, or Black Prince, was launched with a helicopter assault on Friday and commanders said progress was "relatively good".

It is being spearheaded by soldiers from 1st Battalion, The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment and is intended to take Sayedebad, the last Taliban-controlled town within the province which harbours up to 180 insurgent fighters and a shadow government.

The British death toll in the Afghan campaign since 2001 now stands at 327."

I wish that I had some local story or, say, another book review to publish here. Sadly, the news from Afghanistan supervenes again. I am sick and tired of this news and, though the spokesman for Task Force Helmand has an impossible job, I wish that he would change his tribute to the dead. It says, 'His sacrifice will not be forgotten.' Open today's papers or listen to the radio or watch the TV. We are served up the usual trash on all of them and the poor guy and his sacrifice have already been forgotten.

Did you see 'Big Brother' last night? Wow!

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