Spain to Double Number of Troops in Afghanistan
01 Jul 2004, 19:51 UTC
The Spanish government has announced plans to double the number of its troops stationed in Afghanistan and send a contingent of military police to Haiti.
Spanish Defense Minister Jose Bono made the announcement Thursday. Parliament is expected to vote on the proposal next week.
The number of troops in Afghanistan would be increased to 1,000 during the Afghan elections in September, then scaled back to 540 by the end of the year.
Spain has opposed a U.S. and British plan to use a specially created NATO force to police the elections, arguing the force is not intended for such use.
110 civil guard officials would also be sent to help the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Haiti, on the condition they would have operational authority.
Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.
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