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Soldiers leave for Afghanistan and Kosovo

NINENTY members of the Slovak armed forces marched in a military parade in Prešov on December 3 before leaving for international peacekeeping missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo.

NINENTY members of the Slovak armed forces marched in a military parade in Prešov on December 3 before leaving for international peacekeeping missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo.

Defense Minister František Kašický and the Slovak Army Chief of Staff, General Ľubomír Bulik, were there with the families and commanders to bid farewell to the soldiers, the SITA newswire wrote.

Fifty-five professional soldiers are leaving for the ISAF (International Security and Assistance Forces) mission in Afghanistan. They will replace Slovak troops serving in Kandahar, in the south of the country. They are scheduled to stay there for six months.

A unit from the air force base in Prešov, with 30 soldiers and two MI-17 helicopters, is making another trip to Kosovo. They will be involved in transporting materials, personnel, and injured and ill soldiers. The mission will continue the work of a unit that operated in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In the future, the Defense Ministry wants to reinforce three peacekeeping operations, in Afghanistan, Cyprus and the Balkans. Slovak peacekeepers will be gradually withdrawn from other operations, so the total number of Slovak troops serving in missions will not increase.

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