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UK support for Afghan conflict rises – poll


London : British public support for UK military operations in Afghanistan has increased slightly since 2006, a survey suggested here Friday.

Some 40 percent questioned in a poll by ICM Research for BBC radio expressed their support, up from 31 percent in a poll in September 2006.

Forty-eight percent opposed UK involvement, down from 53 percent.

The pollsters surveyed 1,002 adults by phone on 12 and 13 March.

ICM Research said rising support was a surprising movement, but added that Prince Harry’s deployment to Afghanistan may have boosted support.

It added that footage of the Prince, the third in line to the British throne, on the front line in Afghanistan had brought the war to life.

The survey pointed to increasing support among respondents aged 18 to 34, whereas the views of those aged 65 and above were relatively unchanged.

Respondents were also asked to choose, from a range of options, what they considered to be the main reasons for British troops being in Afghanistan.

Some 63 percent thought it was to help the Afghans fight the Taliban and 71 percent saw UK operations as part of the international fight against al-Qaeda, 44 percent of those surveyed believed troops were sent to the country to stop the flow of drugs.