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Australia sends more troops to Iraq

Australia will send 300 additional troops to Iraq to fight Islamic State extremists, deploying them over the coming weeks.

They will work alongside about 100 New Zealand troops at the Taji base north of Baghdad.

Australia's government says the combined force is not being deployed in a combat role but rather to train Iraqi forces to fight the Islamic State group.

Australia already has 170 special forces troops in Baghdad advising and assisting Iraqi security forces. Another 400 Australian air force personnel are supporting air strikes against Islamic State targets from a base outside Dubai.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and defence minister Kevin Andrews said today the mission would be operational in May and was committed for two years with regular reviews.

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