PRAGUE: A Czech military Special Forces unit from Prostejov, south Moravia, has been operating in Afghanistan again since September, chief of staff Vlastimil Picek has said. The deployment of 100 soldiers from the elite unit who participate in anti-terrorist operations was approved by the Czech parliament this year. Defence Minister Vlasta Parkanova (junior government Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) said previously that the soldiers could be sent to the most dangerous areas of Afghanistan and that they would not be part of NATO forces.
According to previous information, the deployment of the special unit to Afghanistan costs about 213 million crowns. The costs will be paid by the Defence Ministry from its budget. The contingent of the 601st group of Special Forces from Prostejov operated in Afghanistan in the 2004-2006 period. Its goals then and at present are similar – monitoring and collecting information.
However, Czech soldiers could also participate in fighting. During the first six-month mission in Afghanistan the Prostejov soldiers took part in more than 30 combat operations and detained several high ranking field commanders.-SANA