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November 16, 2001
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US, British troops land at Bagram airport

K J M Varma in Islamabad

United States and British troops on Friday landed at Bagram airport north of Kabul and Japan announced that it would send up to 1,500 troops to support the campaign in Afghanistan.

With the Muslim holy month of Ramzan set to begin on Saturday, fighting raged around the northern city of Kunduz where several thousand militiamen and Al Qaeda fighters were holding out against the opposition forces.

Six British and two US aircraft landed at Bagram airport for the first time after opposition forces captured Kabul earlier this week. The aircraft were carrying 160 soldiers.

CNN quoted British government sources as saying that the troops would secure the airport and establish a pathway into Kabul for aid agencies to take supplies to refugees.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw told BBC radio that the troops had a mainly humanitarian role. "They are not there in a policing role" and their main task is to secure the airport and make it safe for humanitarian and diplomatic missions, among many other things.

Japan announced that it would send up to 1,500 troops, a flotilla of warships and a small squadron of planes within days to support the US-led war in Afghanistan.

The go-ahead was a part of Japan's hotly contested push to contribute troops -- and not just money -- to the anti-terror campaign. The despatch was made possible under a new law that was rushed through parliament.

PTI

America's War on Terror: The Complete Coverage
The Attack on US Cities: The Complete Coverage

The Terrorism Weblog: Latest Stories from Around the World

External Link:
For further coverage, please visit www.saja.org/roundupsept11.html

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