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British military trainers expelled from Pakistan, UK confirms

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

London, June 27, IRNA -- British military trainers working with security forces in Pakistan have been withdrawn at the request of the Pakistan government, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in London has confirmed.

The trainers, believed to number about 20, were working with Pakistan's frontier constabulary (FC) - a paramilitary force on the front line of the fight against the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

The MoD said the expulsions were due to 'security concerns' but a spokeswoman insisted that the withdrawal was only temporary and that the UK hopes to redeploy the team once tensions abate.

'The training teams will continue their own training and will be ready to redeploy at the first possible opportunity,' the spokeswoman told the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in an emailed statement.

Reports were connecting the expulsion as an indirect consequence of the fallout from the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden without the consent of Pakistan in May that continues to rock relations between Islamabad and its western allies.

Since Bin Laden's targeted assassination, Pakistan is believed to have expelled at least 120 US military trainers, most of whom were engaged in training the 60,000-strong FC, which is deployed along the length of the 1,600-mile border with Afghanistan.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30450703

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