The British government has announced five more soldiers killed today in a pair of blasts targeting a foot patrol, bringing the 24 hour toll to eight in the restive Helmand Province. The attacks, as so many others in recent days, appear to have been IEDs planted by insurgents.
Nearly eight years after the initial US invasion, the Helmand Province remains one of the deadliest provinces in all of Afghanistan. Violence appears to be on a significant rise since the US Marines launched a massive offensive in the Helmand River Valley last week.
The latest killings have brought Britain’s death toll in Afghanistan to 184 since 2001, passing the 179 killed during its five year participation in the Iraq War. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has cautioned Britons to prepare for a “very hard summer,” but says his government’s determination to continue the war has not been shaken.
Yet opposition MPs have taken the latest deaths as an opportunity to lambaste the government over the seemingly endless war. So far the British don’t seem to be suffering from the same war exhaustion as some of the other European contributors to the ongoing occupation, but as the number of slain soldiers rises, this may soon change.