British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made an unannounced visit to
Afghanistan Saturday, to thank British troops for their service in that
Mr. Brown met with soldiers at Camp Bastion in the southern province of
Helmand. He thanked the troops for their role in a joint Afghan and
NATO offensive to take control of the Taliban stronghold of Marjah in
He also promised that the government will support their efforts with additional equipment and resources.
Britain's military announced the death of one of its soldiers in an
explosion in Helmand Friday. More than 265 British military personnel
have been killed since the start of the war in Afghanistan in 2001.
The prime minister rejected criticism from conservatives who said he
traveled to Afghanistan to divert attention from an inquiry into the
Iraq war. Mr. Brown said he had planned the trip to Afghanistan for
Speaking to a panel of inquiry in London Friday, Mr. Brown defended
Britain's decision to join the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. He served as
treasury chief and made decisions about defense spending when his
country entered the war in 2003.