Defence minister says fighting in Afghanistan just as tough as the Second World War (UK)

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Bob Ainsworth, the armed forces minister, risked incurring the wrath of veterans of previous conflicts by making comparisons with the war in Europe against the Nazis and the fighting taking place in Helmand today.

"Unless you came all the way up with the Eighth Army from El Alamein and through Italy, you didn't do much more than lads (in Afghanistan) are having to do now", the minister said.

His comments came after it emerged that the Royal Marines' 45 Commando, who returned from a six month tour in Helmand last week, suffered a fatality or serious injury every three days.

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