Portuguese deployed in al-Nasiriya

Portuguese military police have been taking up position alongside Italian security personnel in the southern Iraqi city of al-Nasiriya, where an explosion last week killed 28 people.

    Last week's blast has heightened security concerns in al- Nasiriya

    The deployment on Tuesday is clearly aimed at bolstering the Italian contingent, left rattled by the blast that killed 19 of its members.

    Nine Iraqis were also killed in the explosion that ripped through the Italian police headquarters in the city last Wednesday.

    "We are well aware of the security problems but morale is good," a Portuguese commander Antonio Olivera said.

    The Portuguese police, who have been assigned to many foreign missions in the past including Bosnia, East Timor and Kosovo, are under the command of the Italian Carabinieri police chief Burgio Carmelo.

    Dangers

    "Its different here from Bosnia, the situation is worse with these suicide attacks," a member of the Portuguese contingent said.

    The Portuguese deployment came as grieving Italians in Rome laid to rest the dead Italian policemen.  

    Members of the Italian contingent reiterated their resolve to carry on with their mission in Iraq.

    "The tragedy has only changed one aspect of our work. We have more determination and more caution," Colonel Gian Franco said.

    Suicide

    But amid the tough talking, there was more bad news for the occupation forces.

    Ukrainian Defence Ministry said that one of its soldiers deployed in southeastern Iraq as part of the US-led occupation force had shot and killed himself.

    No reasons were given as to why he took his own life.

    The soldier was part of the 1650 Ukrainian contingent deployed in the Iraqi province of Wasit since August. 

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    We visualised 1.2 million votes at the UN since 1946. What do you think are the biggest issues facing the world today?

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.