Thousands of mourners bowed their heads in tribute to the passing coffins of British soldiers killed in a new offensive in Afghanistan. The rising toll has created doubts in Britain about the war. News of 15 battlefield deaths in 10 days has many Britons rethinking the country's commitment to a conflict that seems no closer to a successful conclusion than when troops first arrived eight years ago. A Ministry of Defense spokeswoman said a total of eight deaths were announced, making it one of the darkest days of the war. "The casualties should fix peoples' minds on the fact that we've let the soldiers down", said Adam Holloway, an opposition Conservative Party lawmaker who sits on Parliament's Defense Committee. "The death toll means we should do it properly or we shouldn't do it at all". Afghanistan has turned into hell for US and its allies. The British did not learn from their catastrophic defeat in First Anglo-Afghan War of 1839-42 when their entire army of 16,500 soldiers was brutally annihilated by Afghans, leaving just a single survivor, an army physician, to narrate the tale of the massacre to his masters. Holloway, a frequent visitor to Afghanistan, said Britain has never had the troop strength needed to hold ground and has failed to provide the promised security or reconstruction, leading many Afghans to believe the Taliban militants will outlast the western forces. "We're in a mess", he said. -JIYA LAJJA, Peshawar, via e-mail, August 4.