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Swedish government to send 8 Gripen fighter planes to Libya

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Sweden wants to send eight Gripen fighter planes to support NATO-led military operations in Libya, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said.

The Nordic country won’t commit to more than three months, Reinfeldt said today at a press meeting in the Stockholm-based parliament. Sweden will deploy about 130 people at a cost of 200 million kronor ($31.3 million), he said.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization said March 27 it will take charge of the mission in Libya after the U.S. handed over command. Sweden is responding to an official request received this morning to join the operation, Reinfeldt said, adding the mission has the support of the opposition Social Democrats.

“This is the solution we managed to win broad backing for in the Swedish parliament,” Reinfeldt said. A formal decision “is possible as soon as on Friday,” he said.

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