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Australia marks completion of military operation in Afghanistan

Canberra: Parades were held all across Australia on Saturday marking the completion of a military operation in Afghanistan, launched against the deadly September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the US.'Operation Slipper' began in 2001 and

IANS [ Updated: March 21, 2015 12:03 IST ]
australia marks completion of military operation in
australia marks completion of military operation in afghanistan

Canberra: Parades were held all across Australia on Saturday marking the completion of a military operation in Afghanistan, launched against the deadly September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the US.

'Operation Slipper' began in 2001 and has involved more than 33,000 members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), Public Service and Federal Police who were deployed to Afghanistan and the Middle East, ABC reported.

During the mission, 41 ADF personnel were killed and 261 injured.

Parades were held in state and territory capital cities and in Townsville.

A memorial service was also held at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

Speaking at the ceremony here, Prime Minister Tony Abbott praised the efforts of all those involved in Operation Slipper.

"On this national day of commemoration we honour all who served in Afghanistan as part of Australia's longest war. Our armed forces personnel, our police, and our civilians," he said.

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

"We mourn the 41 who died, we grieve with the 262 who suffered serious physical wounds, and we acknowledge the unseen wounds of hundreds more," he added.

Australia was also involved in the war in Iraq. Though withdrawing all troops from Iraq in 2009, Australia again sent 200 military personnel to Iraq to perform a training and consultation role in 2014.

Earlier this month, Abbott announced to send an additional 300 troops to Iraq to train specialist Iraqi soldiers in the fight against Islamic State (IS) militants.

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