Hundreds More Troops Will Go to Afghanistan for Elections

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Byline: Kirsty Walker Political Correspondent

AN extra 700 British troops will be sent to Afghanistan as part of a surge against the Taliban in the run-up to presidential elections.

Gordon Brown said Britain's military presence would increase to 9,000 over the next few weeks, before the polls on August 20.

Troops are likely to be located in the southern Helmand province.

Moments after the Prime Minister's statement, Taliban leaders announced the start a fresh wave of assaults on Nato forces and the Afghan army.

Deputy leader Mullah Brother Akhund said terrorists are planning major attacks - including ambushes, bombs and suicide bomb attacks.

British military commanders are already braced for an immediate increase in violence when the poppy season ends early next month, as the Taliban concentrates its efforts on violence rather than the opium crop.

Some of the extra 700 troops have already been deployed. All are likely to be in place by July.

The additional numbers include two infantry companies from the 4th Battalion The Rifles, special- ist troops from 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment and Royal Logistics Corps. …