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British Government Defends Afghan Strategy

British officials are defending their country's involvement in the Afghan war as the tally of troops killed there recently exceeded the number killed in Iraq.

British officials are denying allegations from opposition politicians that British troops are underequipped, putting them further in peril. A spike in British troop deaths in the past week has raised concerns over troop safety in Britain, where the public remains divided over participating in the war.

A recent opinion poll indicates some 46 percent of the British public supports Britain's involvement in the war, while some 47 percent oppose it.

Those numbers indicate a slight rise in support since 2006, when 53 percent of people opposed the war.

Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, officials say a roadside bomb killed four police officers west of Kabul Monday and NATO announced the death of one of its soldiers.

Officials said the police officers, including a district police chief, died in a blast in Ward province.

Separately, officials with the coalition forces said a U.S. soldier died after an insurgent attack Sunday in eastern Afghanistan.

More than 190 foreign troops have died in Afghanistan this year, keeping it on pace to be the deadliest year for international forces since U.S.-led troops ousted the Taliban from power in late 2001.

Foreign troops now are focused on protecting civilians and securing the country for upcoming presidential elections.

On Monday, the European Union's executive body said it will deploy about 100 observers to Afghanistan to help monitor presidential and provincial elections on August 20.

The European Commission said the observers' safety will be provided by Afghan police and private security firms.

The team will be led by a French EU lawmaker, former General Philippe Morillon. Seventeen EU experts are already in Afghanistan to monitor pre-election preparations.

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