LONDON: The last major deployment of British troops to Afghanistan began yesterday, the Ministry of Defence said, ahead of the withdrawal next year of Western forces.
Some 6,000 British troops will deploy to Helmand in the south in stages over the next six weeks, a ministry spokesman said. Britain has around 8,000 personnel in Afghanistan but will the number to 5,200 by the end of this year.
The 87,000 Nato-led troops fighting Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgency are due to pull out by the end of 2014.
Yesterday’s handover sees the 7th Armoured Brigade or the “Desert Rats”, famed for their Second World War exploits, take charge at Britain’s Helmand base from the 1st Mechanised Brigade. AFP