British forces deployed in Afghanistan to fight Taliban

London, Dec 22 (IANS) British military personnel have been deployed in Afghanistan to help local forces as they fight to take control of a key town seized by the Taliban, local media reported on Tuesday.

Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) said a small number of British personnel have been deployed in Camp Shorabak in Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan “in an advisory role”, Xinhua reported.

“These personnel are part of a larger NATO team which is providing advice to the Afghan National Army. They are not deployed in a combat role and will not deploy outside the camp,” an MoD spokesperson said in a statement.

“In total Britain has around 450 troops in Afghanistan mentoring and supporting the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces and the Afghan Security Ministries,” the statement added.

The strategically important town of Sangin was believed to be almost completely under Taliban control, British Sky News reported on Tuesday.

Britain had a military presence in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2014, when British troops were deployed as part of the NATO response to the September 11 attacks in the US.

More than 450 British military personnel or MoD civilians have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force completed its combat mission in Afghanistan by the end of 2014, after 13 years of military presence in the country.

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