Denmark to send 200 more troops to Afghanistan

Denmark on Friday decided to increase its military presence in Afghanistan by about a third, and to replace its army contingent in southern Iraq with a small air force staff and four helicopters. In a 99-12 vote, lawmakers backed the government's decision to add some 200 troops in Afghanistan to Denmark's current force of 440 soldiers to join the reconstruction effort. Sixty-eight lawmakers were absent. The bulk of the new troops in Afghanistan will be in charge of security around reconstruction efforts in the volatile Helmand province in the south. A group of 45 Danish soldiers will be assigned to a NATO facility at Kandahar airport. The extra troops will be sent to Afghanistan in the fall. No precise date has been set.