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‘British help in Afghan war vital’

world Updated: Jul 12, 2009 23:45 IST

Agencies
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President Barack Obama waded into Britain's debate over the war in Afghanistan, calling Britain's contribution critically important in the struggle to prevent terrorists from establishing a stronghold in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

In an interview with Sky News broadcast on Sunday, Obama acknowledged the rising death toll _ Britain has now lost more troops in Afghanistan than it did in Iraq _ but said the mission is vital to US and European security.

“My heart goes out to the families of those British soldiers,” he said.

Obama also said US and NATO-led troops had pushed back the Taliban in Afghanistan but he warned that there was still a long, hard campaign ahead.