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S. Korean troops arrive in UAE

All News 23:12 January 11, 2011

DUBAI, Jan. 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korean troops on Tuesday arrived in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to help train soldiers in the Middle Eastern country.

The 120-man strong "Akh unit" arrived in Dubai on a chartered flight and after clearing immigration headed for the local special forces training school, the South Korean military said.

It said the troops, who are a part of South Korea's elite special forces unit, will be tasked with training local troops in such areas as anti-terrorism and parachute infiltration operations as well as conducting joint exercises with UAE forces.

The "Akh unit," which translates into a "brother unit" in the Arabic language, will be based in the eastern region of Al Ain for two years.

An advanced team that arrived in the country last month set up billeting communications logistics support infrastructure, and the troops are to be armed with personal firearms, K-4 automatic grenade launchers, K-6 heavy machine guns and the new K-11 assault rifles that can fire 20-millimeter grenades. They will also employ military transportation vehicles that have been shipped to the country.

The arrival of the South Korean troops in the UAE follows Seoul's winning of an US$18.6 billion nuclear power plant project in the resource-rich country in late 2009 and the request by the UAE to dispatch troops.

A bill authorizing the sending of troops was passed by parliament on Dec. 8.

There are currently some 3,000 foreign troops stationed in the UAE from such countries as the United States, France, Australia and Britain.

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