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NATO Sends Peacekeepers Into Western Afghanistan

2 March 2005 -- NATO today began an expansion of its forces into western Afghanistan as part of efforts to rebuild the region.

The commander of the 8,300-strong International Security Assistance Force said today that an initial deployment of Italian troops started to arrive in the western city of Herat. The commander, Turkish Lieutenant General Ethem Erdagi, said the Italians will later be joined by soldiers from Spain, Greece, and Lithuania.

The United States has long been pressing for the NATO move.

The troops will eventually form four Provincial Reconstruction Teams and a forward operating base in Herat.


Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org

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