Page last updated at 14:07 GMT, Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Miliband meets troops in Helmand

David Miliband: "Critical year for Afghanistan"

Foreign Secretary David Miliband is visiting British troops in Afghanistan's Helmand Province.

His trip comes days after new US envoy Richard Holbrooke visited the country and discussed the worsening security situation with senior Afghan officials.

Mr Miliband was expected to tour bases in Lashkar Gah, where a British soldier was killed on foot patrol on Monday.

After visiting Helmand he is expected to meet officials for talks in the capital Kabul.

Earlier the Ministry of Defence confirmed the soldier, from the 1st Battalion The Rifles, had died of wounds while on foot patrol south of Lashkar Gah - bringing the total of UK deaths in the country to 145 since 2001.

Mr Miliband met British military and civilian staff in Helmand, as well as governor Gulab Mangal, to discuss development and agricultural issues, the security situation, and efforts to tackle the threat from the Taleban.



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