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S Korea plans Afghan deployment

South Korean soldiers preparing to deploy to Afghanistan in 2001
About 300 troops and police could be sent to Afghanistan, reports say

South Korea has announced it will send troops and police to Afghanistan to protect an expanded civilian reconstruction team.

The troops would not take part in combat operations, officials said.

The plan must be approved by parliament, where the ruling Grand National Party has a majority.

The announcement comes two years after South Korea pulled out 200 military engineers and medics in 2007 after two South Korean missionaries were killed.

The two missionaries were part of a group of 23 that were kidnapped by Taliban forces.

South Korean foreign ministry spokesman Moon Tae-young said the South Korean provincial reconstruction team (PRT) was being expanded at the request of the Afghan government.

Local media reports said the government was considering expanding the PRT from the current 25 aid workers to 130.

Mr Moon said the number of troops sent to protect them would be determined after talks with the Afghan government and Nato.

South Korean media said about 300 troops and police could be sent.



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