AP, June 19, 2008
Bosnia to send more troops to Iraq
Bosnia will send more troops to serve in Iraq, Bosnian media reports said today.
In addition to the 36 Bosnian ordnance experts already in the country, the army will send an additional 49 soldiers from the 6th Infantry Division in August.
The Sarajevo-based Dnevni Avaz newspaper reported that the army commander, General Sifet Podzic - who is visiting Bosnian troops in Iraq - said infantry troops had been training for the last three months.
The contingent includes soldiers from all three Bosnian ethnic groups, Muslim Bosniaks, Catholic Croats and Orthodox Serbs, the report quoted Podzic as saying.
He added that the troops would provide security at the military base where the Bosnian soldiers are based.
Military officials were not immediately available to confirm the report.
The 36 ordnance experts — including three teams of 10 officers and a command team of six — are deployed alongside US troops near Falluja to identify and destroy unexploded ordnance.
Bosnian opposition parties and human rights groups have criticised the deployment of troops to Iraq, saying it was "inappropriate" because international peacekeepers were still serving in Bosnia.
A 2,500-strong European force monitors the peace agreement that ended the 1992-1995 Bosnian war and left the country divided into a Bosnian Serb mini-state and a Bosniak-Croat federation.
About this articleClose This article was first published on guardian.co.uk on Thursday June 19 2008. It was last updated at 10:18 on June 19 2008.