More UK troops head for Afghanistan

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Published: Wednesday, 29 April 2009, 1:36PM

More than 700 additional British troops will be sent to Afghanistan, the Prime Minister has confirmed.

It follows his whistle-stop tour earlier this week to Afghanistan and Pakistan when he warned the border area between the two countries is “crucible of global terrorism”.

The boost in troops numbers is a temporary surge aimed at providing security during the forthcoming presidential elections. They will stay in Aghanistan until the Autumn.

Setting out plans to tackle the lawless border regions, the Prime Minister said the focus must be on improving the ability of authorities in the two countries to fight extremism.

That includes strengthening policing and democracy in Afghanistan and setting up closer ties with Pakistan.

“Tackling terrorism in and from the borders of Afghanistan and Pakistan drives forward our new set of proposals,” Mr Brown said.

“We will complement the necessary military action with economic, social and political progress aimed at building stronger and more effective democracies.”

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said he “very much welcomed” the decision by Mr Brown to deal with Afghanistan and Pakistan together.

He said: “We support the decision to send more troops to Helmand to get the job done but understand why, given the overstretch of our armed forces, we are sending only a small number.

“But do you agree with me that the worst of all worlds would be to send reinforcements without committing enough resources to really do the job properly?”

© Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.


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