Britain to send more than 200 extra troops to Afghanistan

The British government said Monday it will send more troops to southern Afghanistan to fight the resurgent Taliban. Prime Minister Gordon Brown's office said about 230 engineers, logistical staff and military trainers would begin a tour of duty over the next few weeks. The deployment will take the number of British forces in the country to more than 8,000, most based in Helmand province in the south. A spokesman confirmed the deployment on condition of anonymity, in keeping with government policy. Defense Secretary Des Browne is due to make an announcement in the House of Commons later Monday. One hundred and two British troops have died in Afghanistan since 2001 - almost all of them since 2006. The increased commitment in Afghanistan comes as British officials hope to step up Britain's withdrawal from Iraq. There are about 4,000 British troops in that country, based outside the southern city of Basra.