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Page last updated at 07:24 GMT, Friday, 17 July 2009 08:24 UK

'We need more boots on the ground'

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The head of the UK Army has said better equipment is needed to protect troops from roadside bombs in Afghanistan.

General Sir Richard Dannatt told the BBC troops "needed more" and added that he would be compiling a shopping list of what was required.

He said: "If this is really important, and the national figures are in such dire straits that we are not going to get more funding from the Ministry of Defence... then there is a strong case to say... we will have to re-order, yet again, some of our internal priorities."

He also said that the UK must ensure there have sufficient troop numbers on the ground. "We need more boots on the ground" he says, and cutting troop numbers "would be the wrong thing to do."

Gordon Brown has repeatedly insisted the Army has enough equipment and denied claims of a helicopter shortage.

The general's comments will be seen as careful "parting shots", says the BBC's defence correspondent Caroline Wyatt.

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