CANBERRA, Australia — Afghan militia fighters were secretly flown to Australia to train with its special forces in a contentious new strategy against the Taliban insurgency, Australia's defense chief confirmed Friday.
Six fighters allied to influential warlord Matiullah Khan trained last week at Australian bases to strengthen military operations against the Taliban, said Air Marshall Angus Houston, the head of the Australian Defense Force. The training was first reported by The Sydney Morning Herald.
Houston told reporters that the militiamen would be "fighting side by side with our special forces when we do the next deployment."
The Australian officers are to be deployed to Afghanistan, where Australia has 1,550 troops based in the southern province of Uruzgan.