30 Sep 2010

More Australian troops urged for Afghanistan

2:01 pm on 30 September 2010

The federal Opposition in Australia wants the Government to send an extra 360 troops to Afghanistan.

It says the Government is ignoring the pleas of soldiers in Afghanistan who say they are under-resourced.

The ABC reports the Opposition is particularly concerned with claims from a frontline soldier that the death of Lance Corporal Jared McKinney last month could have been avoided if better support was available.

Opposition defence spokesman David Johnston says more tanks, helicopters and 360 more troops are needed.

"Such support would be in the nature of a signal squadron, engineer squadron, cavalry squadron, gun regiment and elements of armour and aviation," he said.

"I am advised that these additions would add substantial and immediate support capability to our soldiers in Afghanistan. These additions would require the deployment of a further 360 personnel."

Australia has about 1500 troops in Afghanistan and the Government says it has no plans to increase the number.