Singapore to deploy 50 men to Afghanistan
( dpa ) - Singapore plans to increase its presence in Afghanistan from 10 to 50 men this year, the armed forces said Saturday.
Two 20-man teams will head to Oruzgan province south-west of the capital Kabul for three months each, providing health care and ward facilities in support of a medical operation run by Dutch and Australian forces.
Another two five-man construction engineering teams will help in the reconstruction of Bamiyan province in central Afghanistan.
"Afganistan is at the front line in the global fight against terrorism," Defence Minister Teo Chee Hean told parliament on Friday.
"Extremists have made use of an unstable Afghanistan as a safe haven to train terrorists, and to export violence and terror to other countries, including Singapore," he said.
Several Jemaah Islamiah (JI) detainees who planned attacks in the city-state had trained in Afghanistan, Teo noted.
Those being sent to Oruzgan will receive three weeks of training in Singapore and another two weeks of preparations with their Australian counterparts.