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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 August 2007, 10:30 GMT 11:30 UK
Afghanistan medal petition set up
British soldier in Helmand province, Afghanistan
Mr Myers says soldiers deserve more recognition
A Shropshire man has set up an online petition calling for a special medal to be awarded to British forces fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Andy Myers, of Shrewsbury, has started a petition on the Number 10 website.

Campaigners complain the Ministry of Defence still offers soldiers the same medal as it did to those involved in peacekeeping duties in 2002.

Mr Myers said the new award would recognise the extra intensity of the armed conflict in Helmand province.

Mr Myers said the current medal was designed to recognize "peacekeeping role and is the same medal as was awarded to troops immediately after the Taliban were deposed".

'Deserves recognition'

He added: "The current campaign can be considered to be anything but a peacekeeping role with our troops currently facing a 1 in 36 chance of dying during a 6 month deployment in Helmand province.

"Their bravery and loyalty deserves recognition above and beyond that awarded in general and individual acts of bravery."

Seventy UK troops have been killed while on operations in Afghanistan since 2001.

But the Ministry of Defence has rejected calls for a new medal to be awarded, saying the current award is not for peacekeeping but general operational service.

Defence Secretary Des Browne said earlier this week there "should be no doubt that our people are getting the recognition they deserve", adding that it was the Army commanders that decided "whether a medal is deserved".

Mr Myers' petition has been signed by 46 people since it was set up on Tuesday.

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