Afghanistan death toll jumps to 204

DEFENCE secretary Bob Ainsworth was hit with a fusillade of criticism last night after trying to put a positive spin on the latest British deaths in Afghanistan.<br /><br />Ainsworth was accused of &ldquo;false optimism&rdquo; and &ldquo;wild predictions&rdquo; after claiming British forces would be off the front line in Afghanistan within a year. His comments followed the death of five more soldiers in Helmand province this weekend, which took the death toll to 204. <br /><br />The milestone of 200 deaths has sparked more soul-searching among bereaved families and those opposed to the military presence. And Prime Minister Gordon Brown has admitted&nbsp; an offensive to shore up security had made July and August &ldquo;one of the most difficult summers yet&rdquo;.