Another 50 French Troops Head to Mazar-i-Sharif

Published December 13th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

Around 50 French soldiers were heading to the key northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif on Thursday as reinforcements to help secure its airport, French military sources told AFP. 

Two weeks ago, some 100 French marines became the first of their countrymen to be deployed on the ground in Afghanistan when they were transferred to Mazar-i-Sharif from Tajikistan to prepare the airport for humanitarian aid flights. 

French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin said Wednesday that France would send several hundred men to a planned multi-national UN stabilization force in Afghanistan. 

France was ready "to assume its responsibilities by deploying specialised units which are available immediately to help with the security of people and the protection of buildings of the new Kabul administration", Jospin added –

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