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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 November 2006, 10:39 GMT
Army wants more Muslim recruits
Jabron Hashmi
Jabron Hashmi was killed on duty in Afghanistan
The Army is hosting its first recruitment drive solely for young British Muslims.

About 40 teenagers from Birmingham will be taught infantry skills and endure an army obstacle course.

The forces are suffering a shortage of recruits and have been unable to attract many from the Muslim community.

Those taking part in the event come from the same part of Birmingham as Jabron Hashmi, the only Muslim British soldier killed in Afghanistan.

One of the teenagers visiting Gamecock Barracks in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, is Mansoor Clark, who said being involved in the initiative was about having fun.

It's a good opportunity to develop skills that you already have
Mansoor Clark, participant

He said the armed forces offered a good career and he would have no problems being sent to places like Iraq or Afghanistan if he joined up.

"The general idea is just to have some fun.

"And I think the armed forces - if it's not even seen as a possible career path - it's a good opportunity to develop skills that you already have."

A report on Friday from the National Audit Office said the UK armed forces were 5,170 troops under strength.

The strain of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan at the same time was one reason for shortages, the report said.

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