4 NATO Troops Killed in Afghan East as British PM Visits Kabul

Posted July 5th, 2011 at 4:35 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

The NATO mission in Afghanistan says four of its service members died in two separate attacks in the east as British Prime Minister David Cameron visited the capital, Kabul, and pledged to increase British aid to the country.

The nationalities of the soldiers were not disclosed.

During his stopover in Kabul, Mr. Cameron met with a number of leaders, including Afghan President Hamid Karzai and outgoing U.S. military commander, General David Petraeus.

Prime Minister Cameron repeated Britain's commitment to Afghanistan and said London will provide $287 million in aid to Afghanistan in the 12 months ending in April 2012, up from $164 million in the previous 12-month period. He also announced plans to build a military academy in Afghanistan modeled after Britain's famous Sandhurst Academy.

At a joint news conference with Mr. Karzai, Mr. Cameron called on the Taliban to stop bombing, killing and fighting, and to join the political process to be a part of Afghanistan's future. He said Afghanistan can learn from Britain's experience in Northern Ireland, where he said Irish separatist militants behind deadly attacks on civilians and security forces later became politicians involved in governance.

Britain has 9,500 troops in Afghanistan, mostly in the south, representing the second largest foreign troop contingent after the United States. Mr. Cameron said Britain will withdraw some of those forces this year and next year before ceasing all combat operations in the country by the end of 2014. He is due to provide details of the pullout to the British parliament on Wednesday.

In Islamabad Tuesday, a U.S. delegation met with Pakistani officials to discuss how to keep Afghanistan stable as NATO troops begin to leave and how to stem the drug industry there.

The U.S. State Department's top official on international narcotics and law enforcement, Assistant Secretary of State William Brownfield, said the meeting was about saving lives not only in the region but globally, adding Afghanistan's fate contributes to that effort.