Australia marks end of 'longest war'

2015-03-21 14:23
(Jo Dilorenzo, ISAF Regional Command, AFP)

(Jo Dilorenzo, ISAF Regional Command, AFP)

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Sydney - Australia's armed forces went on parade across the country on Saturday to mark the end of their involvement in the Afghan war.

In Canberra, Prime Minister Tony Abbott paid tribute to soldiers, police and civilians who served in "Australia's longest war”.

"That war ended not with victory, and not with defeat, but with hope, hope for a better Afghanistan, and for a safer world," Abbott said.

Government records show more than 33 000 Australians took part in Operation Slipper, launched as part of a US-led mission to oust the Taliban in 2001 and lasted 13 years.

A total of 41 Australians were killed and 260 wounded in deployments in Afghanistan and the Middle East.

Last year, just months before its withdrawal from Afghanistan, Australia joined the US-led military operation against Islamic State in the Middle East.

That movement linked with al-Qaeda is seeking to establish a caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

Al-Qaeda's 11 September 2001 bombings in the United States preceded the Afghan invasion.


Read more on:    tony abbott  |  australia

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