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Australia Considering Sending Troops to Afghanistan


Australian Prime Minister John Howard has said his country will consider sending additional troops to Afghanistan.

Mr. Howard said Thursday a request from the Afghan government would be considered by the Australian cabinet next week.

Earlier this week, Afghan foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah requested additional troops to help stem violence ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for September 18.

Australia sent 150 troops to Afghanistan in late 2001 as part of the U.S.-led war to oust Taleban and al-Qaeda forces. Only one Australian soldier is now deployed to the country.

Mr. Howard dismissed suggestions that any troop increase in Afghanistan would result in a reduction in Australian forces in Iraq.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.

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