Poland sending more troops to Afghanistan

April 17, 2009 at 12:05 PM
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WARSAW, Poland, April 17 (UPI) -- Poland's defense minister said a fresh contingent of troops will raise the number of his country's soldiers in Afghanistan to 2,000.

Defense Minister Bogdan Klich said Polish troops were in service of NATO's most important mission -- to stablilize Afghanistan and the surrounding region, Polish Radio said Friday.

Poland is also dispatching two helicopters and a transport plane to Afghanistan.

At a departure ceremony of a paratrooper battalion from the southeastern town of Krakow, Klich told the troops their task included providing safety of civilians in Afghanistan.

The rise of the troops number from 1,600 to 2,000 is the Polish government's strategic move to assist the international mission, along with $9 million allocated to help lessening poverty of civilians in the region.

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