(Photo: Borna Filic/PIXSELL) (Photo: Borna Filic/PIXSELL)

Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Damir Krstičević was on hand at the Pleso Military Air Force Base to send off Croatia's tenth contingent to Afghanistan.

So far, more than 5,000 Croatian soldiers have served in Afghanistan since 2003. Minister Krstičević said they should use the opportunity wisely and serve with honour.

"I encourage you to use this opportunity to share and exchange your experiences with our allies. Learn from them and share your knowledge with them. Build friendships," said the minister, and "promote our Homeland in the best light possible. Perform your duties professionally and with honour. And return with the same pride as when you left."

Joining the Croatian contingent are 31 soldiers from Montenegro, 6 from Macedonia and 2 each from Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Source: HRT