British troops deploy to Afghan province amid Taliban battle

KABUL: Britain's Ministry of Defence says British troops are being sent to south Afghanistan's Helmand province where Afghan forces are battling the Taliban for control of a strategic district.

An MOD statement late Monday said "a small number of UK personnel" have been deployed to Helmand "in an advisory role." The UK has 450 troops in Afghanistan as part of NATO's training mission.

Fighting was still underway Tuesday in Helmand. In the Sangin district, most government buildings are now in Taliban hands. Afghan officials say the entire province is in danger of falling to the insurgents.

Helmand is important to the Taliban. It's the source of much of the world's opium, which helps fund the insurgency.

The British lost more than 100 of their 456 fatalities in Afghanistan in the district.