British death toll in Afghanistan surpasses Falklands war tally

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London, Feb. 9 (ANI): The death toll in the British war campaign in Afghanistan has exceeded that it suffered in the Falklands War, following the death of three soldiers on Sunday in encounters with the Taliban.

Two of the unnamed soldiers, from the Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, died on a foot patrol in Helmand province on Sunday night while serving with the 3 Rifles battle group in the town of Sangin.

A third was killed in an explosion in the Nad-e-Ali district of Helmand.

The deaths mean the Afghanistan campaign against the Taliban-led insurgency has killed more British soldiers than the 74-day war to regain the Falkland Islands following Argentine invasion in 1982.

As the politically-sensitive milestone was passed, British Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth said it was now "imperative" for Britain to hold its resolve.

"Our presence in Afghanistan is vital in preventing it from once again becoming a haven for terrorists who would seek to threaten the UK," The Telegraph quoted Ainsworth, as saying.

"In taking the fight to the insurgents, providing security and hope for the Afghan people and building up their own security forces, we will - and must - succeed," he added.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, Chief of the Defence Staff, admitted the figure would attract attention, but said troops would continue regardless.

"Sad milestones such as this naturally attract attention in the UK, but in theatre our people continue resolutely and courageously with the task of assisting Afghans to build their own future," he said.

Meanwhile, Taliban fighters around the town of Marjah have been warned to lay down their weapons or face "overwhelming force" in an assault likely to begin within days. The offensive is likely to witness more casualties among British troops. (ANI)

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