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Australia resettles 500 Afghan helpers

The helpers, mostly interpreters and their families, get refugee visas as fulfillment of country's 'moral obligation'.

Last updated: 01 Jun 2014 06:22
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Australia has about 400 troops in Afghanistan in advisory and training roles [File: Reuters]

Australia has resettled more than 500 Afghans who helped the Australian military during its mission in the country, according to a government statement.

The Afghans, mainly interpreters and their families, were granted refugee visas, the country's Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement on Sunday.

Australian troops leave Afghanistan

"This policy reflects Australia's fulfillment of its moral obligation to those who provided invaluable support to Australia's efforts in Afghanistan," he said.

Most of them were resettled in Australia since late last year, the Associated Press news agency reported.

The government had been reluctant to comment on the refugee programme until Sunday because of risks to those who applied for resettlement before a September 2013 deadline, the statement said.

Australia has ended combat operations in Afghanistan and withdrew about 1,000 troops in 2013. It still has about 400 troops there in advisory and training roles.

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