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Wednesday 3 September 2014

Australia resettles Afghan helpers

Published 01/06/2014 | 06:32

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Australia still has around 400 troops in Afghanistan in advisory and training roles

Australia has resettled in recent months more than 500 Afghans who jeopardised their own safety by helping the Australian military in their war-ravaged homeland.

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The Afghans, mainly interpreters and their families, were granted refugee visas.

Most were resettled in Australia since late last year, the government said in a statement.

The government had been reluctant to comment on the refugee programme until today because of risks to those who applied for resettlement before a September 2013 deadline, the statement said.

"This policy reflects Australia's fulfilment of its moral obligation to those who provided invaluable support to Australia's efforts in Afghanistan," immigration minister Scott Morrison said.

Australia has ended combat operations in Afghanistan and withdrew about 1,000 troops last year, but still has about 400 troops there in advisory and training roles.

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