Australia Sending More Troops to Afghanistan

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) - Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says
Australia will send 280 additional troops to Afghanistan,
increasing the overall Australian deployment there to about 1,380.

It is the first increase by Australia - the biggest contributor
to the U.S.-led coalition outside NATO - since Rudd took office in
2007.

Rudd told reporters the new troops primarily would train Afghan
security forces in their battle against insurgents. He says he
discussed the additional deployment with President Barack Obama
last week.

Also, an additional 120 troops will be deployed temporarily, for
an eight-month stint to enhance security during Afghanistan's
national elections in August, Rudd said.


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