Lower House approves Czech soldiers to be sent to Afghanistan

25-02-2004

The Chamber of Deputies has approved sending over 100 troops from Czech special forces to take part in the U.S.-led operation "Enduring Freedom", aimed at countering remnant Taliban and Al-Qaeda terrorist forces in Afghanistan. The decision, approved by the Senate last month, marks the first time Czech troops will take part in combat operations since the end of the Second World War. In total 127 out of 186 deputies on Wednesday voted in favour, while 46 voted against. On Tuesday the head of the Czech military general staff, Pavel Stefka, said the first group of soldiers could leave for Afghanistan as early as seven days after deployment approval. Around 108 reconnaissance specialists are set to join Operation Enduring Freedom, while another 30 soldiers will participate in NATO's ISAF operation in Kabul.