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British Troops Arrive In Afghanistan's Restive South

15 February 2006 -- The first deployment of British troops arrived in Afghanistan today to take over from U.S. forces in southern Afghanistan.

The 150 combat troops are the first to arrive after Britain committed 3,300 troops to take over U.S. operations in Helmand Province, where militant activity is high.

The troops are tasked with general security operations, as well as protecting British engineers as they build a British base in Lashkar Gar, the provincial capital.

The remainder of the British contingent is to be deployed in the province over the coming months. The British troops are part of more than 3,000 British troops to be based in Helmand Province as part of a plan to expand the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) from 9,000 to about 16,000 troops this summer.

(AP)

Copyright (c) 2006. 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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