DUSHANBE , May 11, Asia-Plus - France is temporarily increasing its military presence in Tajikistan .  Three Mirage fighters and additional more than 100 military personnel will arrive in Tajikistan on May 19.  

Jerome Malard (phonetically spelled), Defense Attach? at the French Embassy in Dushanbe, has told Asia-Plus that thereby the number of French military personnel deployed at the Dushanbe airport will increase to some 250.  At the same time, Malard refrained from commenting on reasons for sending additional Mirage fighters to Tajikistan .  

“Ongoing operations of international antiterrorist coalition in Afghanistan are a part of general strategy of the fight against international terrorism,” Malard said, noting that the additional military personnel will stay in Tajikistan till September-October this year.  

As it had been reported earlier, six Mirage fighters stayed in Tajikistan from August to November last year to provide security in Afghanistan during the September 18 parliamentary elections in that country.  France removed those six fighters and 250 military personnel from Tajikistan on November 9 2005 , retaining 150 servicemen and two transport aircraft at the Dushanbe airport.  

The French military contingent has been stationed in Tajikistan since 2001, when the antiterrorist operation was launched in Afghanistan .  The French military contingent will stay in Tajikistan until the situation in neighboring Afghanistan remains unstable.  One of the main missions of the French military contingent stationed in Tajikistan is in providing assistance in shipping humanitarian cargoes to Afghanistan .