Georgia shuts two bases in Afghanistan after attacks
Georgia said that the country has closed two of its bases in Afghanistan after 10 of its soldiers were killed by militant attacks within the last four weeks.
Kabul: Georgia said on Wednesday that the country has closed two of its bases in Afghanistan after 10 of its soldiers were killed by militant attacks within the last four weeks, but it will not reduce the number of troops serving there.
The announcement by Defence Minister Irakli Alasania came five days after he visited Afghanistan to meet with his country`s contingent in the US-led coalition in the aftermath of the attacks.
A massive truck bomb killed seven Georgians at their base in Helmand province`s Now-e-Zad district on June 06, while three other Georgian soldiers died on May 13 in a bomb attack on another base in Helmand`s Musa Qala district.
The bombings were part of a wave of militant attacks in recent weeks, pushing violence to some of the highest levels of the 12-year war as Afghan forces take over most security responsibility from international troops set to withdraw next year.
Alasania said on television station Rustavi-2 that Georgia will maintain its current level of troops in Afghanistan but did not say where they would work from. Georgia, a former Soviet republic with aspirations of joining NATO, has 1,545 troops serving in Afghanistan.
"It`s a contribution made by Georgia to the international mission that is fighting terrorism and ensuring global security," he said.
He did not say where the closed bases specifically were, and it wasn`t immediately clear how many bases Georgia maintains in Afghanistan.