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Page last updated at 05:14 GMT, Monday, 22 September 2008 06:14 UK
British troops on losing colleagues

By Tulip Mazumdar
Newsbeat reporter in Afghanistan

In May of this year Newsbeat visited the 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (2 Para). It's now September and since then 10 Paratroopers have died taking on the Taleban.

What it's like to live with losing colleagues

Five more from the 2 Para battlegroup, which includes soldiers from other regiments attached to 2 Para, have also been killed.

They've suffered more losses than any other regiment ever stationed in Afghanistan since fighting began in 2001.

For the Paratroopers based in Sangin in Helmand province, it's been a hard few months.

Private Edward Smith said: "It's difficult because when you can put a name to a face you remember all the things you used to do together.

"I knew a lad quite well and he was killed out on patrol. I did company boxing with him and we used to go out on the town together. I've been round his house a few times for a few drinks.

"It's difficult when you hear about someone like that getting killed."

For some of the men, with little time left in Afghanistan, it's important to stay focussed.

Private Michael Ames said: "I'm trying to keep it out of my mind at the moment. I've got a month left so I've got to keep in high morale and try and focus on what I've got to do out here."
Private Gareth Hunt is proud to serve with his fellow colleagues

The men support each other and share a strong determination to get the job done.

Private Gareth Hunt said: "I think of the younger guys, 18, 19 and they still go out on the ground straight after that.

"They put it straight to the back of their minds while we've got a job on - go straight back out there and crack on.

"It's parachute mentality to go and do that. I'm proud of the guys I've served with - to do that."

They've been doing it day in day out for the last five months and have successfully pushed Taleban fighters out of villages and towns across the province.

It means that the grieving has to wait until they get back.

Private Smith said: "You're not going to do anything different just because someone's been killed.

"You think about it in depth or talk about it more deeply with the blokes when you get home.

"Until then you think about it for a few hours and then you remember why you're out here.

"There's no point in moping around and thinking about it too much."

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