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Georgia to close 2 bases in Helmand

Georgia to close 2 bases in Helmand

Jun 12, 2013 - 23:11

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Georgia on Wednesday announced it would shut in the next few days two of its military bases in southern Afghanistaninfo-icon, where it lost 10 troops in suicide attacks in less than a month, media reports said.

Defense Minister Irakli Alasania, who visited Afghanistan on Friday, said the decision was based on recommendations from the armed forces as well as International Security Assistance Force (ISAFinfo-icon) command.

“We asked NATOinfo-icon’s military commanders what measures to take for our soldiers after there was a first attack and I want to say that recommendations were fully foreseen,” he said in a television interview.

Alasania told Rustavi-2 the former Soviet republic would its 1,545 troops in Afghanistan in the ISAF framework. However, he did not explain where the soldiers would be based.

Seven Georgians were killed in a suicide attack on their position in the Nawzad district of Helmand on June 6. Three soldiers of the country had been killed in a May 13 bomb attack on their base in Musa Qala district.

Separately, Italian Defence Minister Mario Mauro announced Rome would remain part of the ISAF mission until 2014. "The Italian government intends to continue its participation in the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan," the AKI news agency quoted him as saying.

Briefing lawmakers on the death of a soldier last Saturday in western Afghanistan, Mauro said: "We cannot speed up the drawdown of our contingent as is widely being requested."

PAN Monitor/mud

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