S. Korea to dispatch advance team to Afghanistan this month

19:10, June 04, 2010      

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South Korea will dispatch an advance team of soldiers to Afghanistan later this month, a defense ministry official on Friday was quoted by local media as saying.

The advance team, comprised of 80 soldiers, will be sent to the war-torn central Asian country in the middle of this month, Seoul' s deputy Defense minister Chang Kwang-il said on the sidelines of a security forum in Singapore.

The main dispatch of soldiers who will safeguard South Korea's reconstruction workers there, will take place in July.

The South Korean Army has launched a 320-strong unit last month to be dispatched to Afghanistan to protect 100 South Korean civilian reconstruction workers.

The unit, named "Ashena" meaning friend or colleague in the local language, will be sent to the northern Afghan province of Parwan for a two-year mission.

The motion for the unit's deployment was approved by the National Assembly last February.

South Korea withdrew more than 200 military medics and engineers from Afghanistan in 2007 after dozens of South Korean Christian missionaries were kidnapped there. Two of them were killed.

Source: Xinhua


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