British soldier killed in Afghanistan blast
A British soldier was killed in a bomb attack in southern Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence said Thursday, bringing the death toll of British troops serving there since 2001 to 211, AFP reported.
The soldier, who served with the the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, was caught in an ambush in Babaji District, central Helmand Province, said a ministry statement.
Britain has suffered a spate of losses since early July, when it launched a joint operation with Afghan troops against Taliban forces in Helmand to try to regain control of the southern province ahead of the August 20 Afghan election.
There are some 9,000 British soldiers serving in Afghanistan.
In recent months, Prime Minister Gordon Brown has had to fend off increasing criticism over the adequacy of equipment the troops have to work with.
Brown paid a surprise visit to Afghanistan on Saturday, and said another 200 soldiers specialised in dealing with the improvised explosives devices (IEDs) that have claimed so many lives would be arriving this autumn.
But the mounting death toll has also revived questions about the purpose of the British mission.