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Afghanistan Blast Kills Six British Soldiers

Afghan National Army soldiers arrive near the site of a blast in Helmand province, March 7, 2012
Afghan National Army soldiers arrive near the site of a blast in Helmand province, March 7, 2012

Six British soldiers were killed when a massive explosion hit their armored vehicle in southern Afghanistan.

The soldiers were on patrol near the capital of Helmand province, Lashkar Gah, Tuesday evening when the blast happened. It was the single deadliest incident for British troops in Afghanistan since a helicopter crash in 2006 killed 14.

NATO said the troops were believed killed following an improvised explosive device attack. Afghan officials said the vehicle hit a landmine.

The deaths bring the number of British troops killed in Afghanistan since 2001 to 404. Britain has had the second highest number of casualties in the 10-year war after the United States.

British Prime Minister David Cameron mourned the loss Wednesday, but said the mission in Afghanistan remained important for British national security.

"This is a desperately sad day for our country, and desperately sad of course for the families concerned. It is a reminder of the huge price that we're paying for the work we're doing in Afghanistan, the sacrifice that our troops have made and continued to make," said Cameron. "I do believe that it's important work for our national security right here at home, but of course this work will increasingly be carried out by Afghan soldiers and we all want to see that transition take place.''

Defense Secretary Philip Hammond also condemned the attack, but said it would "ultimately fail to derail" the mission.  

Britain's Ambassador to Afghanistan William Patey praised the role of British troops in helping build up Afghan security forces and strengthen governance and development in the country. He said the six British soldiers believed killed Tuesday were working closely with a British-led provincial reconstruction team in Helmand.

Britain has around 9,500 troops in Afghanistan, most of them in Helmand province, and plans to withdraw several hundred by the end of this year. All international combat troops are set to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan Wednesday, officials say four civilians were killed when a bomb planted on a motorcycle exploded in the southern province of Kandahar.  

At least nine other civilians were wounded in the attack, which took place in the border town of Spin Boldak.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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by: Haron
March 08, 2012 1:14 AM
so any blast which happen to british troops it is the planet of thier past government till now & it would be continue. but we believe that UK is responsible for the past situations & present situations. they dismissile all Afghan troops from M-16 & distributed them to Taliban. cause Afghan army always shoot the british troops in Afg. Afghan army hate from British troops. i condumn the blast but not i'm not sad. anything they planet they would grow it.

by: Haron
March 08, 2012 1:04 AM
i condumn this blast but something must be mention. it's not the first time that Britain has came in Afg but it's the 4th times. however humans call britain people as arch cause they're very smart people but we call britain people as seditious cause all the M-16 rockets are made by Britains & taliban have M-16 the models are 2010-2011 not 1880 nor 1990 but 2010-2011 in the south & east.

by: Islam lover
March 07, 2012 5:18 PM
Ten year intervention of the USA and its allies has turned Afganistan into a dead land with hatred, nonstop killings, destruction. We cannot see peace, democracy or freedom there as they have promised before. What Syria would become if the West was allowed to intervine.

by: hamad part 2 of 2
March 07, 2012 5:04 AM
British teachers and their pension . Cameron should explain in front Britons what is the benefits from this 10 years wars which cost UK budget heavy losses . Killing two US advisers indicates that the security has become so fragile otherwise the cooperation between two side has taken another direction.

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