29 Apr 2009

Australia to send 450 more troops to Afghanistan

8:55 pm on 29 April 2009

Australia is to send an extra 450 soldiers to Afghanistan.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced an infantry company of 120 soldiers will spend eight months in the country, their first duty to provide security for the election.

Mr Rudd says the main role of the other extra troops will be to train Afghan soldiers.

He says that is the key to building the Afghan army - so Australian troops can eventually leave.

The deployment is because of what Mr Rudd called the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan.

About 1,100 Australian soldiers are already stationed in the country.

Ten Australian soldiers have died in Afghanistan since 2001.