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U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan (file photo) 13 July 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Australia says it is sending 150 special-forces troops to Afghanistan to help in the battle against militants in the run-up to Afghanistan's 18 September parliamentary elections.

Prime Minister John Howard today said the Australian force was expected to be in Afghanistan by September and would be deployed for about 12 months.

Australia sent some 1,500 troops to Afghanistan to help U.S.-led forces topple the Taliban and their Al-Qaeda allies in late 2001, but Australia now only has one soldier in the country.

(Reuters/AFP)
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