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Afghan Minister: Deal Reached on International Force

BY Admin  December 28, 2001 at 3:30 PM EST

Fahim told Reuters the agreement calls for the first troops to be stationed in Kabul near the capital’s airport and at an area in the city center.

“After assurances,” Fahim said, “they will be stationed in other major areas.”

Fahim said of the 3,000 troops expected, 1,000 will be used for security and the rest for logistical and humanitarian efforts.

The ministry had said Wednesday the contingent had already left for Afghanistan, but said today those reports were a mistake.

A spokesman told reporters the group would consist of support staff and “enablers” who would help prepare Bagram air base north of the city for the full international team’s arrival and work to reopen Kabul International Airport.

Meanwhile, military representatives met today outside London to hammer out further details of the peacekeeping force, the Associated Press reported. Officials would not say which countries were attending the meeting.

The United Nations approved a plan Dec. 20 to send an international force to assist the interim Afghan government with security and reconstruction. Britain agreed to lead the force and is expected to contribute as many as 1,500 troops.