After repeated attacks against the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, Italian government decided to deploy more troops and military equipment in the central Asian country without changing the non-combat nature of the Italian mission there, Minister of Defense Arturo Parisi said Tuesday.
"Italy will send five Mangusta gunships, eight Dardo armored vehicles and 10 Lince armored personnel carriers to Afghanistan," Parisi told a joint meeting of the defense and foreign affairs committees of the Senate here.
A contingent of 145 soldiers will be also sent to the war-torn country to man the additional military equipment, along with 15 members of the Carabinieri - the gendarmerie and military police of Italy.
The Carabinieri contingent is part of the EU mission charged with training the Afghan policemen.
"The cost of the military enhancements runs to EUR 25.9 million," according to Parisi.
"However, it will not affect the non-combat nature of our mission there," the minister asserted.
The NATO-led ISAF assists the Afghan army in terms of training and combat operations against insurgents while the European Union works to rehabilitate the Afghan police forces.
Last Mod: 16 Mayıs 2007, 12:38