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UPDATED: 11:29, May 10, 2007
Bulgaria to increase Afghanistan contingent to 400 by June
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Bulgaria will increase sharply its contingent in Afghanistan, Bulgaria's Defense Minister Veselin Bliznakov revealed Thursday at the country's second seaside city Burgas.

The minister released the news at a wreath-laying ceremony on the occasion of the Victory Day of the Second World War.

The service members of the Bulgarian peace-keeping contingent will increase from the present 83 to a total of 400, said the minister.

He explained that at the end of 2006, NATO's Riga Summit adopted a decision on an increase of the participation of all member states so as to stabilize Afghanistan.

The Bulgarian soldiers will be sent to Kabul and Kandahar, where they will guard the airports, Bliznakov added.

As a NATO member, Bulgaria sent its first batch of soldiers to Afghanistan in Feb. 2002. Each batch has a mandate of one year.

Source: Xinhua

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