Page last updated at 09:20 GMT, Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Troops march through city centre

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The battalion lost seven men during their six-month tour

Hundreds of people have gathered in Newcastle to watch a homecoming parade by soldiers on their return from Afghanistan.

More than 250 troops from the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers exercised their freedom of the city.

They marched from the civic centre along roads including Northumberland Street and John Dobson Street.

The battalion lost seven men during their six-month tour.

They have all done a fantastic job and I would like to pay tribute to their courage
Mike Cookson, Lord Mayor of Newcastle

The Lord Mayor of Newcastle, councillor Mike Cookson, said: "I'm sure the whole city would like to join me in giving our service men and women a warm welcome to Newcastle after their tour in Afghanistan.

"They have all done a fantastic job and I would like to pay tribute to their courage and I hope they enjoy their time in their adopted city."

The battalion marched through Ashington and Morpeth on Tuesday, the same day as the latest North East soldier to be killed in Afghanistan was repatriated.

The body of Acting Sgt John Amer, of the Coldstream Guards, was flown into RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire.

The 30-year-old Sunderland man was the 99th member of UK forces to die on operations in Afghanistan this year.



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SEE ALSO
Parades mark troops' homecoming
08 Dec 09 |  Tyne
Afghan death soldier repatriated
08 Dec 09 |  Wear
Emotional homecoming for troops
27 Nov 09 |  Coventry/Warwickshire
Freedom of borough for Fusiliers
26 Nov 09 |  London

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