Brown on surprise visit to Afghanistan

London, Aug 29 (DPA) British Prime Minister Gordon Brown Saturday arrived in Afghanistan on a surprise visit and indicated an increase in British forces to be sent to the country.

In reports in London, Brown said he wanted to see a speed-up in the training of Afghan soldiers and police – a move which military analysts believed could only be achieved if the British contingent in Afghanistan is beefed up.

Media reports by BBC and Press Association said Brown was visiting with British forces at Camp Bastion in Lashkar Gah in Helmand province.

Brown also announced that in the autumn up to 200 anti-explosives specialists were to be despatched to the Hindukush region, a move coming after an increasing number of British forces have fallen victim to explosives attacks in recent weeks.

Currently there are some 9,000 British forces stationed in the Hindukush in the battle against the Taliban.

Since the start of Britain’s mission in Afghanistan in 2001, a total of 207 British troops have been killed, with public opinion in Britain turning increasingly against the mission.