Archbishop renews backing for British Army's operations in Afghanistan following soldiers' deaths (From York Press)
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Archbishop of York renews backing for British Army's operations in Afghanistan following soldiers' deaths
Updated: THE Archbishop of York has suggested York Minster might host a major memorial service for the soldiers killed in Afghanistan earlier this week.
Dr John Sentamu, speaking at Bishopthorpe Palace, told The Press that if the Yorkshire Regiment and the families of the soldiers wanted it, he was sure the Dean and Chapter would be happy to host the event.
He also called for the people of Yorkshire to turn out in numbers to show their respect and love when the funerals were held for the six soldiers, who died in a Taliban bomb blast while on patrol in Helmand Province. Five of the soldiers were from the Yorkshire Regiment.
The Archbishop pledged his continued support for the British Army’s mission in Afghanistan, saying that – unlike the war in Iraq – it was mandated by the United Nations to try to protect the “global village” from terrorism by Al Quaeda and it was also tackling the Taliban, which treated women so badly.
Asked if he wanted British troops to be brought home, he said: “I want the Yorkshire Regiment to come home in one piece.”
But he stressed he did not want the withdrawal to lead to even greater casualties and supported the agreed withdrawal date of 2014.
Dr Sentamu said he hoped to meet the families of the brave soldiers who had died in due course to see what they needed to assist them, and said there must not be “penny-pinching” when they needed support.