UK troops briefly return to Afghan district

LONDON (AP) — Britain has sent its troops back to a bloody district of Helmand Province to assist Afghan forces, raising further questions about Afghan readiness to maintain security after NATO forces withdraw.

The Ministry of Defense confirmed Sunday that 80 British military advisers traveled back to Sangin district this month to assist 2,000 Afghan soldiers with an eight-day operation to clear insurgents.

The mission required special permission from Defense Secretary Philip Hammond, according to the Sunday Times, which first reported the operation.

The defense ministry downplayed the U.K. involvement, saying its troops “do on occasion” operate outside their usual area in central Helmand.

Still, it was the first time since the international military coalition handed over lead responsibility to Afghan forces last month that foreign troops offered so much reinforcement.

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