TA soldiers called-up for Taliban offensive

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Indy Politics

Call-up notices are going to estate agents, dustmen, lawyers and electricians to take on the Taliban in south Afghanistan.

More than 400 "civvy street" soldiers in the Territorial Army are being summoned from their private jobs to reinforce British Army regular soldiers to repulse a Taliban spring offensive.

They will make up more than half of the 800 extra British troops who are being sent out in April. TA reservists have served in Afghanistan in the past and Tony Blair met an estate agent from the West Country when he visited forces in Helmand province before Christmas. But, this time the volunteers could face full-scale battle with the Taliban expected to mount fresh attacks on British outposts as the weather improves.

The total UK deployment in Helmand province will rise by 800 to 5,800. British soldiers have faced fierce resistance from the Taliban in Helmand, where the bulk of the UK's 46 fatalities in Afghanistan have occurred.