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First French troops in Kabul

French troops
France has pledged up to 5,000 troops to the war in Afghanistan  


KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) -- The first contingent of French troops have joined the international peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan.

The group of 15 soldiers arrived on Wednesday at Bagram Air Base, the French Embassy in Kabul told CNN.

The soldiers will join British peacekeepers, who have been in Afghanistan since mid-December.

The United Nations and Afghanistan's interim government reached an agreement on the role of a peacekeeping contingent earlier this week.

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The peacekeepers initially will be deployed in Kabul, but also will be present in other Afghan cities, Afghan Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah said.

They would be allowed to use force under a U.N. mandate.

Few further details on the peacekeeping mission, which is being organised by the British, have been released.

The first peacekeepers arrived in Afghanistan before the December 22 inauguration of the new government, before the two sides had agreed on the contingent's numbers and duties.

In November, France revealed plans to commit up to 5,000 troops to the U.S.-led military campaign in Afghanistan.

Defence ministry spokesman Jean-Francois Bureau said 2,450 naval and air force personnel would be involved in the deployment of the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle in the Indian Ocean.

France also announced the dispatch of Mirage 2000 fighter bombers.



 
 
 
 


RELATED STORIES:
• Afghan peacekeeping pact reached
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• First UK peace troops land in Kabul
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• French troops head for Afghanistan
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• France deploys jets to Afghanistan
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