London: More than 600 British soldiers
returning from Afghanistan marched through the southern
English town of Winchester today in the largest ever
homecoming parade staged in Britain.
Crowds of supporters lining the medieval streets
applauded and cheered as the troops from 11 Light Brigade and
three marching bands passed through the town, a historical
home to the Royals.
The brigade lost 64 soldiers during its six-month
deployment to Afghanistan, and a thanksgiving service will be
held later in the 900-year-old Winchester Cathedral to
remember those who died.
The brigade wil be disbanded after inspection by Camilla,
the wife of Prince Charles.
Britain has about 10,000 troops in Afghanistan, the
largest international force after the United States. The
country has lost more than 300 military personnel or defence
staff in Afghanistan since operations there began in 2001.
Today, the Ministry of Defence said a marine from 40
Commando Royal Marines serving in the Sangin District of the
southern Helmand Province was killed during a gun battle with
The soldier, who was not identified, was the 303th
British fatality in Afghanistan. The ministry said his family