LONDON (AFP/Reuters) - Britains government faced pressure to send more troops and equipment to Afghanistan Monday as a surge of military deaths prompted questions over the missions purpose and resourcing. Eight soldiers died within 24 hours at the end of last week, Britains blackest day yet during the eight-year conflict, although Prime Minister Gordon Brown insists the mission is showing signs of success. But although public support for Britains troops remains high, the chorus of voices querying the terms and conditions under which they are fighting is growing louder. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown fended off calls Monday to send more troops and equipment to Afghanistan after the blackest day yet for forces there, with eight soldiers killed in 24 hours. Although public support for the 8-year British operation remains high, opposition politicians and commentators are increasingly questioning the terms and conditions under which the forces have to fight. Speaking in the House of Commons for the first time since last weeks deaths, Brown insisted he had been reassured by commanders on the ground that we have the manpower we need for the current operation and there were no equipment shortages. All of the military requirements will be met, he said. It has been a very difficult summer and its not over yet but if we are to deny Brown said Monday the aim was to prevent extremist plots in Britain, of which 75 percent have links to Afghanistan, while new Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth cited a wish to help Afghans defend themselves from the Taliban. Britains defence secretary faced angry questions in parliament on Monday over the shortage of vital military equipment in Afghanistan, where 15 British soldiers have been killed in the past two weeks. The death of 8 soldiers in a single day has shocked and angered the public and led opposition politicians to demand the govt say what it is doing to get more helicopters and well-armoured vehicles to stretched frontline forces. The government must explain why our armed forces are having to do so much with so little, said Liam Fox, defence spokesman for the opposition Conservative party, emphasising Britains lack of heavy-lift helicopters. Bob Ainsworth said helicopter flying hours had been increased and additional helicopters and vehicles with heavier armour would be sent to the war zone next year. We have made great strides to increase helicopter capability and availability with a large degree of success over last 2 years in Afghanistan, said Ainsworth, the third defence secretary in 9 months. We have put (our troops) on the ground in very, very difficult circumstances, but ... without the necessary material support, insufficient numbers of troops, insufficient equipment, with no political strategy on the ground to speak of, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg told Reuters during a Web discussion forum. Its a patchwork of different efforts that isnt coordinated ... What defines success hasnt been properly defined. I think we are deluding ourselves if we think there is suddenly going to be a victory. Meanwhile, senior figures are questioning the toll of the war, which has recently seen 15 British troops die in 10 days in southern Afghanistan out of a total of 184 deaths since 2001. Paddy Ashdown, the international communitys former representative to Bosnia who was last year tipped as a possible UN envoy to the country, told the BBC that Britain and other countries had set ludicrously over-ambitious targets and set ourselves up for failure in Afghanistan. We now have to come back to a rather more blunt and rather more limited ambition, and if we do that then you might be able to achieve success in its redefined terms, he said. We are absolutely on the cusp now... we will need more troops now to recover the tactical and strategic opportunities we lost from lack of troops and overly ambitious targets earlier. Although the main opposition Conservatives tipped by opinion polls to be in government this time next year support the war, they say it is not well enough resourced. Their defence spokesman Liam Fox told the BBC that Britain had to provide troops with enough equipment to minimise the risk to them, highlighting what the party says is a shortage of helicopters. Senior military figures have also criticised the government for not sending enough troops including ex chief of the defence staff Charles Guthrie, who last week accused the Treasury of having spent the minimum they could get away with on defence. But Foreign Secretary David Miliband insisted that there was a very clear strategy in place for the mission and denied that it was poorly manned or poorly equipped on ITV television. Despite the number of deaths, public backing for British involvement in the Afghan conflict has grown, according to a poll for the Guardian and the BBCs Newsnight programme. Opposition to the war at 47 percent is just ahead of support at 46 percent, said the ICM poll of 1,000 people conducted as news broke of the new deaths. But backing for Britains role in Afghanistan has grown since 2006, the last time an ICM poll was conducted on the subject, up 15 points from 31 percent, the Guardian newspaper said. Opposition has fallen over the same period by six points, from 53 percent. The aim of Operation Panthers Claw is to improve security ahead of next months Afghan elections. Britain has raised its troop numbers to 9,000 ahead of the vote. The United States has said it is sending up to 30,000 new troops to Afghanistan this year as the Taliban ousted from power by the US-led invasion in 2001 has regrouped.