Beckham pays tribute to his countrymen serving in Afghanistan

KABUL: English footballer David Beckham paid tribute on Saturday to British soldiers serving in Afghanistan as the “bravest people” during a visit to troops deployed in one of the country’s most dangerous areas.

“These guys are the bravest people that I’ve ever met and it really is, it truly is, an honour to be here,” the 35-year-old former England skipper said in an interview released by the British military.

“It’s scary, it really is scary, you feel it,” said Beckham, who arrived at Camp Bastion in the southern Afghan province of Helmand on Friday.

“Just yesterday one of the troops was killed, and you feel it and you see the flags at half-mast and you feel the tension there,” he added.

“I’ve represented my country many times on the field, but what these guys do representing our country is really amazing,” said Beckham, who lost his chance to join England at the World Cup next month due to an Achilles tendon injury.

Britain has around 10,000 troops in Afghanistan as part of an international force, largely fighting the Taliban in Helmand.

The country has lost 286 personnel since operations began in 2001. — AFP

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