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Last Updated: Monday, 8 May 2006, 04:53 GMT 05:53 UK
Australia outlines Afghan force
UK forces in Helmand
The Australian troops will boost a multinational force
Australia is to send an extra 240 troops to Afghanistan in July, to work alongside Dutch soldiers on reconstruction projects in the south.

The deployment will double Australia's military presence in the country.

Although the deployment was announced in February, PM John Howard said the exact size of the force was determined after talks with the Netherlands.

He said it was a "further reminder of our very strong commitment to the coalition effort in Afghanistan".

Mr Howard said the extra troops would be working with the Dutch force on reconstruction and community-based projects in Afghanistan's troubled Uruzgan province.

In January, Australia announced a new deployment of 110 troops to Afghanistan to fight "terrorism".

Two Chinook transport helicopters were also to join the country's 190 special services soldiers who were already deployed in Afghanistan.

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