The British government says it has ended the first phase of Operation Panther’s Claw in troubled Helmand Province in the south of Afghanistan.The five-week campaign cost at least 10 British soldiers’ lives and killed countless Taliban. Now British soldiers are trying to convince the Afghan people they are there to stay. One British soldier said:” We are doing a vehicle checkpoint. We are checking all vehicles to see if there are no weapons in them, no suicide bombers so we are making this area safe for the locals and ISAF forces.” The aim of the campaign was to make a key part of the province safe ahead of Afghan elections on August 20. Gordon Brown’s government has been under immense pressure after British soldiers’ bodies started returning home. Brown said: “ What we have actually done is to make the land secure for about 100,000 people. What we have done is push back the Taliban and what we have done is start to break that chain of terror that links the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan to the streets of Britain.” Meanwhile British Foreign Secretary David Miliband called on the Afghan government to start holding peace talks with what he called more moderate elements of the Taliban. The Taliban itself has already rejected the proposal.
Britain ends Panther's Claw