Estonian troops heading for Afghanistan

  • 2002-07-11
  • TBT staff

An Estonian explosives clearing team will travel to Afghanistan later this month to assist U.S. troops.

Five bomb-and-mine clearing specialists and three bomb-sniffing dogs will be deployed for at least three months at an unnamed U.S. military base in the country, according to Interior Ministry spokeswoman Anu Adra.

The government approved the mission July 9, according to Interior Ministry spokeswoman Anu Adra.

The approval follows a request from the U.S. Department of Defense earlier this year.

The team's exact departure date will depend on the realease of 2.7 million kroons ($164,000) to transport, feed, house and equip the team for three months.

"They could stay longer if more funding is approved," said Adra.

The specialists are part of a unit trained to take part in NATO missions and will be the first Estonian soldiers to work in Afghanistan.

Adra would not comment on the team's destination because of security concerns.