Oz PM to send 450 troopers to beef up Afghan security

Kevin RuddCanberra (Australia), Apr. 29 (ANI): Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced that his government will send 450 extra troops to beef up security in troubled Afghanistan.

However, there will be no combat troops among the latest contingent. The extra troops will assist in military training, governance and reconstruction, Rudd said, adding "Australia concurs with the United States that the current civilian and military strategy is not working."

"If anything, security in Afghanistan is deteriorating. We must not allow Afghanistan to once again become the unimpeded training ground and operating base for global terrorist activity," Rudd said, adding that more than 100 Australians had been killed in terrorist attacks in recent years.

"To reduce the threat of terrorist attacks on Australian citizens in the future the Australian Government has decided to increase our Defence Force commitment in Afghanistan," he said.

"A measured increase in Australian forces in Afghanistan will enhance the security of Australian citizens given that so many terrorists attacking Australians in the past have been trained in Afghanistan," he added.

Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said earlier today the Government was continuing to look at what it could do to contribute to Afghanistan. (ANI)