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    Clegg visits troops in southern Afghanistan


    by ODN


    Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg visited troops in Afghanistan's Helmand province.

    His first visit to the country since winning office, Clegg spent part of the day touring an Afghan police training center in Laskhkar Gah the provincial capital where Afghan police there receive training from British officers.

    Clegg is expected to visit Afghan President Hamid Karzai later in the day Tuesday in Kabul.

    Britain has some 9,500 troops in Afghanistan, mostly based in the southern province of Helmand where some of the fiercest fighting with Taliban insurgents take place.

    Despite the presence of almost 150,000 foreign troops, violence across Afghanistan is at its worst since the Taliban were ousted by U.S.-backed Afghan forces in late 2001.

    Taliban-led insurgents have launched increasingly brazen attacks around Afghanistan in a bid to topple the government and force out foreign troops. More than 2,000 foreign troops have been killed, most of them Americans, since the conflict began.