February 9th, 2010
07:55 AM ET

UK's Afghan casualties pass Falklands toll

The death of a British soldier on an explosives-clearing operation in Afghanistan has pushed the British death toll there past that of the 1982 Falklands War, the Ministry of Defence announced Tuesday.

The soldier's death brings to 256 the number of British troops killed in Afghanistan since operations there began in 2001, the defense ministry said. The British death toll from the Falklands conflict was 255. 

The soldier, from the 36 Engineer Regiment, died Monday from an explosion in the Nad-e-Ali district of Afghanistan's southern Helmand Province. He was part of a task force to clear roadside bombs.

"He was leading a team conducting route-clearance operations at the time, making the way ahead safe for others to follow," said Lieutenant Colonel David Wakefield, a spokesman for Task Force Helmand. "His indomitable courage and fortitude, the hallmark of his profession, will not be forgotten."

The Ministry of Defence did not release his name, but said his next of kin had been informed.

Two soldiers from The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, were killed by an explosion Monday, also in Helmand Province, the defense ministry said. The deaths of those soldiers, whose names were not released, meant the total death toll matched that of the Falklands.

"Sad milestones such as this naturally attract attention in the U.K., but in theater our people continue resolutely and courageously with the task of assisting Afghans to build their own future," said Air Chief Marshal Jock Stirrup, chief of the British Defense Staff.

"We should not forget that each and every death of a member of our armed forces is a tragedy of equal proportion," British Defense Secretary Bob Ainsworth said. "Our thoughts at this time lie firmly with the families and friends of all the brave men and women fallen in Afghanistan, and we should all

remember that every one of them has given their lives in defense of their - and our - country."

The Falkland Islands are a British territory located 670 miles (1,000 kilometers) from the coast of Argentina. Argentina has claimed sovereignty over the islands since they were occupied by the British in 1833.

 Argentine troops invaded the islands in April 1982, sparking a two-month war with intense land and sea battles. Argentina surrendered June 14, having lost nearly 650 troops.

Filed under: Daily Developments
soundoff (5 Responses)


    June 1, 2010 at 6:42 am | Report abuse |
  2. A. Smith, Oregon

    Innocent civilians are still dieing from all of the landmines that the Brit's planted during the Falkland Islands battle, over 20 years ago!

    February 10, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Pinoy

    When you decide to go to war,you must not count the cost until you achieve victory.If you are deterred to go on because of high casuaties,better you did not go war at first place.Change your tactics to minimize your casualties,but do not be change your mind until you achieve your objectives.

    February 10, 2010 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
  4. cyrene

    yes you just said it that we have no right to impose our views on others ,,,,we have seen your democracy in iraq ,,,and frankly the people in the midleast have seen just desasters blocades and wars and imposed dictators from the states ,,,,

    February 9, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  5. ourhumandebate

    When a soldier dies, his or her courage and strength are not to be forgotten, regardless of whether his or her military is winning their struggle. However, a soldier, whose life is given up so that many other people of his home country can live, has passed on having given up a very valuable and worthwhile sacrifice for his country. British and American troops die in Afghanistan so that many others from their home nations do not have to face the evils of terrorism directly. We must be thankful.

    Afghanistan and Iran are real threats. If the Taliban were to re-secure political power in Afghanistan, then Al-Qaeda would gather its strength again very soon after Taliban control. We cannot back down from the fight that threatens our existence... the growth of terrorism.

    Yes, we must quell the hatred of those Islams who have a legitimate complaint with the West by respecting their right to exist on this planet without our influence. Only by respecting their boundaries and borders first can we be in the moral right to invade a nation that is sponsoring terrorism against the West. It's the principle of the matter... all humans have the right to exist within their own borders without information from other peoples influencing their cultures in ways that the home culture deems toxic. This doesn't mean you stop transmitting C-Span, an informative channel with little cultural influence, into primarily Islamic nations. Nor does it mean you stop spying on countries that hate you and that are developing nuclear capabilities.

    Without being in the moral right to attack a terrorist-sponsoring nation, the battle is just an ordinary battle of the fittest, and subject to all sorts of confusion and misconceptions by the general population.

    February 9, 2010 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |