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China sends security force for peacekeeping mission in Mali

China sent 135 peacekeepers on Tuesday for a peacekeeping mission to Mali, marking the first time the country has dispatched security forces for a peacekeeping mission.

The team, including engineers, medical staff and security guards, departed from Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, Tuesday night.

They are the advance troops of a 395-strong force that China will send to Mali at the request of the United Nations. The team will be tasked with repairing roads and bridges, airport runways and facilities at camps, safeguarding the security of mission headquarters, as well as providing medical treatment and epidemic prevention.

Previously, more than 1,700 tonnes of equipment and materials have been transported by sea to the task execution area.

China established its 395-strong peacekeeping force to Mali on July 12. The members are from the Shenyang Military Area Command and the 211 Hospital of the People's Liberation Army.

The force's remaining servicemen are ready for departure according to the UN arrangement.

[Source: Xinhua, Harbin, 04Dec13]

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