Portugal sends more troops to Afghanistan

14:00, March 30, 2010      

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The last batch of 70 Portuguese troops to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) left on Monday for Afghanistan to complete Lisbon's planned deployment.

The troop of a rapid reaction force aboard a C-130 plane left from a military airport in Lisbon. They will complete the Portuguese military deployment of a total of 162 men in Afghanistan.

Among them, 150 came from the Portuguese Army, with 12 others from the Air Force.

The contingent aimed to "keep the security of the Afghan capital Kabul," said Ramos de Oliveira, spokesman for the Armed Forces Staff.

They are a "combat unit with capacity of security patrolling, supporting government events" and some other missions, he added.

The group's role as a rapid reaction force is similar to the one Portuguese has played in Afghanistan during the conflict between 2006 and the summer of 2008.

The troops will be based in Camp Warehouse near Kabul, the same base at which the Portuguese forces were stationed in 2008.

In mid-2008, Portugal reduced its military presence in Afghanistan to 100, but it agreed last year to increase its troop level.

Source: Xinhua
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