21/07/2008

Six RIR Soldiers Hit In Taleban Attack

As one of Northern Ireland's best-known newspapers, the Belfast Telegraph, began a series of 'war zone' reports today from Afghanistan, six Royal Irish Regiment soldiers have been injured in an attack by the Taliban.

Coming just 24 hours after it was revealed another member of the Regiment lost a leg in an earlier attack in the country's Helmand province, it will further highlight the dangerous assignment for local and national RIR members.

More than 500 soldiers from Northern Ireland are now five months into a tour of duty in one of the world's most dangerous war zones.
News Image
Troops from the Royal Irish 1st battalion (pictured) are serving alongside the 2nd and 3rd battalion of the Parachute Regiment and 5 Royal Scots to form the 16 Air Assault Brigade.

Soldiers from the Royal Irish 2nd battalion are providing protection at the British Army's biggest military base in Helmand province - Camp Bastion.

And earlier this month they were joined by 62 TA reservists from 204 Squadron (North Irish) Field Hospital who will be providing medical assistance at the base.

The latest attacks come just hours after Prime Minister Gordon Brown made a surprise visit to UK troops serving in another hot spot, southern Iraq and follows visits to Afghanistan itself by Northern Ireland politicians including First Minister Peter Robinson, his DUP colleague and ex UDR soldier Jeffrey Donaldson and former UDR Major, the Ulster Unionist peer, Lord Ken Maginnis, last month.

(BMcC)

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