WELLINGTON, New Zealand – New Zealand has announced it will keep a small team of military personnel in Afghanistan to help coalition forces after it formally withdraws from the country in April.
The group of 27 will be primarily based in Kabul undertaking planning and intelligence duties. Included are three elite special-forces troops.
New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key said Monday the country remains committed to international efforts to improve the security and prosperity of Afghanistan.
Most of the 27 will operate under an initial one-year commitment through April 2014.
Last year, New Zealand announced it was withdrawing from the country in April 2013, five months earlier than previously planned. The country has stationed about 145 soldiers in central Bamiyan province since 2003.
Ten New Zealand soldiers have died during the conflict.