Edinburgh homecoming parade for Afghanistan troops
The battlegroup lost 30 members during the tour of Afghanistan
Hundreds of soldiers from the 3 Rifles and 1 Scots have marched in Edinburgh after returning from Afghanistan.
They were taking part in a homecoming parade on the Royal Mile to thank the public for their support, before being presented with their service medals.
The Edinburgh-based troops were deployed to Helmand in October 2009.
During the six-month tour the 1,400-strong battlegroup lost 30 members, the biggest loss of life in a battlegroup for 60 years.
The troops marched from the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, past some bereaved families and injured colleagues who were unable to march.
Caroline Wyatt BBC defence correspondent
At 8am, the Royal Mile was deserted. By 10.30am as the men of the 3 Rifles Battlegroup marched smartly past, still tanned by six months under a harsh Afghan sun, the crowds stood six deep to welcome them back.
And it was a heartfelt welcome. Many standing to watch, wave and cheer them on were their own families, the strain of six months of waiting and worrying only just beginning to wear off. The emotion was too much for some; one rifleman's young daughter burst into tears as her father marched past.
At the Palace of Holyroodhouse, a more sombre atmosphere reigned as the families of at least 20 of the 30 men who died in this battlegroup's unimaginably tough tour of Helmand waited to take the salute from the men who did come home.
It was an unusual tribute from the battlegroup, and one aimed at making public their own gratitude to, and respect for, the men who had served with them and had made the ultimate sacrifice.
Watching the families as they stood in dignified silence, we could only begin to wonder at the strength it must take to watch and welcome others' sons, fathers and husbands as they marked their return home, while still mourning the loss of their own.
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