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Stockwell Day pays surprise visit to Afghanistan

Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day, who made a surprise visit Monday to Afghanistan, says more RCMP will be sent to help train the Afghan National Police.

Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day, who made a surprise visit Monday to Afghanistan, said more RCMP will be sent to the war-torn country to help train the Afghan National Police.

Daysaid 12 Mounties will be sent to teach the Afghan police how tooperate road blocks, provide weapons training and how to respond to roadside bombs.

The move will bring the total number of Canadian military and civilian police officers in Afghanistan to 36, said Day.

Canada has also been supplying the Afghan police with equipment such as body armour, he said.

Task Force Afghanistan has been helping to set up new police posts in trouble areas such as the Zhari district, and Canada's efforts will help the Afghan government fight crime and stabilize the country, he said.

Treasury Board President Vic Toews and Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Trade Helena Guergis are travelling with Day.

Thevisit comes on the same daythat at least 13 suspected Taliban militants and three police officers were killed in clashes and an air strike in southern Afghanistan.

Canada has more than 2,000 soldiersin southern Kandahar province, a centre of the insurgency.

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