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Australia sends troops to protect its embassy in Baghdad

Published on Jun 20, 2014 1:01 PM

SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia on Friday said it has sent a small detachment of soldiers to protect its embassy in Baghdad in the face of an offensive by jihadist ISIL forces.

The decision follows key ally the United States deploying 275 troops to help American personnel and protect its diplomatic compound in the Iraqi capital.

A spokeswoman for Defence Minister David Johnston said a small Australian Defence Force unit had been dispatched to bolster security arrangements at the embassy. No numbers were given.

"The purpose of this element is purely to support contingency planning in the event that an evacuation of the embassy is required," she added.

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