Bulgaria Sends off Ashraf Guard Unit

Bulgaria Sends off Ashraf Guard Unit At an official ceremony on Wednesday Bulgaria will send off its first non-combat unit to guard the Iraqi refugee camp of Ashraf.

Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev, Defense Minister Vesselin Bliznakov, army staff and defense officials, families and friends of the troops will attend the event in Kazanluk, south Bulgaria.

Bulgaria’s parliament approved the government decision to send up to 155 troops to guard the Iraqi camp of Ashraf, about 70 km north of Baghdad. The unit should stay in Iraq for a year.

The move came few months after Bulgaria decided to pull out its 450-strong light infantry unit from the Arab country. During the unit’s service, the country lost 13 soldiers and six civilians.

The new non-combat mission will cost Bulgaria approximately EUR 8 M.

Sofia News Agency –  March 29, 2006

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