British forces to leave volatile Afghan outpost

18:33, July 07, 2010      

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British troops will move out of the Sangin area of Helmand province and hand over responsibility to U.S. forces, local media reported on Wednesday.

Out of the 312 British service personnel to have died in Afghanistan, about 100 were killed in Sangin, the most deadly place in Afghanistan for NATO soldiers.

British Defense Secretary Liam Fox will announced that the move is expected to happen by the end of this year, and British troops will concentrate on Helmand's populous central belt, leaving the north and south of the province to U.S. troops.

Britain deployed 8,000 troops in Helmand, which are outnumbered by the 20,000 U.S. forces.

British military insisted the move is a redeployment as Sangin is now under U.S. command and there are more U.S. troops on the ground.

Sangin is the latest part of the district to be handed over to American control. The town of Musa Qaleh was transferred in March and U.S. marines took charge of Kajaki dam last month.

Recently, Britain's media focused on the apparent contrast of tone on withdrawal from Afghanistan from Prime Minister David Cameron and his defense secretary Fox.

Fox said any premature withdrawal from Afghanistan would be a "betrayal" of soldiers who had lost their live. His remarks came just days after Cameron said he wanted to bring British troops home by 2015.

Source: Xinhua


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