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In Bri­tain op­po­si­tion MPs asked why Mr Ham­mond failed to men­tion such a sig­nif­i­cant change in strat­egy when he was called be­fore the House of Com­mons on Mon­day to an­swer an ur­gent ques­tion on se­cu­rity in Afghanistan.

Coali­tion com­man­ders be­lieve few of the at­tacks are di­rectly caused by the Tal­iban, but the scale of the prob­lem and steady flow of deaths has al­ready be­gun to un­der­mine do­mes­tic sup­port for the lengthy cam­paign.

Bob Ste­wart, the Con­ser­va­tive MP who com­manded UN troops in Bos­nia as an Army colonel, wel­comed the de­ci­sion to scale back men­tor­ing work with Afghan troops and po­lice.

He said Afghan vet­ting pro­ce­dures to try and root out po­ten­tial as­sas­sins were clearly not work­ing.

He added: “I re­ally feel for sol­diers who are sent out to do this job.

“I have been in that sort of po­si­tion my­self and it is ter­ri­fy­ing.” GLUE two CDs to­gether so they are back-to-back. Play one side, then flip it over and play the other – like your

old vinyl records.

KILLED: Sgt Gareth Thursby ( and Pte

Thomas Wroe were shot dead in Hel­mand prov­ince last week­end THREAT: Afghan

army sol­diers

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