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Ten bloody days in Afghanistan

By Cathy Newman

Updated on 10 July 2009

Another British soldier has been killed in Afghanistan bringing to ten the number killed in as many days. Cathy Newman reports as the bodies of other fallen soldiers are flown home.

British soldiers carry the coffin of a comrade killed in Afghanistan (Reuters)

The Ministry of Defence has announced that another British soldier has been killed in Afghanistan.

The news comes on the same day as the bodies of five soldiers killed earlier this week were being repatriated at RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire.

Hundreds stood in silence as their coffins passed through the nearby town of Wootton Bassettt. 

But amid the sadness there were fresh claims that the deaths happened because of shortages of troops and equipment. 

A former chief of the defence staff blamed Gordon Brown who, as chancellor when Britain went into Helmand, had given "as little money to defence" as the Treasury could get away with. 


Fighting in the heartland  

Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth told Jon Snow that it has been a "difficult day."

"Loosing people is always difficult - and most difficult for the loved ones and friends and family.

"But, there is a very important operation ongoing and the enemy, the Taliban, are only standing and fighting because we are attacking them in the heartland."

As the bodies of the servicemen were taken through the Wiltshire streets of Wootton Bassett one family member told Channel 4 News that she thought Bob Ainsworth was not fit to be defence secretary as he was not "protecting our boys."

In response Mr Ainsworth said, "I can understand anybody's anger who has lost a loved one and that is something I will have to bare.

"I will do everything that I can to support the people out in operational theatre - they are showing such bravery, such resolve and we have to do the same back here. We obviously are not on the frontline, we don’t have the dangers that they face but we've got to back them up."

In response to questions on whether British soldiers are properly equipped for frontline warfare Mr Ainsworth said: "We have a whole new fleet of armoured vehicles available in Helmand.

"Now, that doesn't mean to say, I'm not trying to say, that always, every single choice of vehicle is available in every circumstance but let me say this - you cannot fight this kind of insurgency from within an armoured vehicle."

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