UK: Troops did not die for just 150 Afghan votes

UK officials have sought to play down low voter turnout in Afghanistan’s elections amid reports just 150 people cast their ballots in an area where four British troops died securing it from the Taliban. British media claimed that early estimates of ballots in the former Taliban stronghold of Babaji in Helmand province indicated few exercised their voting rights, despite the efforts of Operation Panther’s Claw, a five-week offensive against militants in the region. The claims have fueled debate in Britain over the country’s continued military role in Afghanistan as the country’s death toll since operations began in 2001 pushes past the 200 mark.