ROME - The Italian government asked parliament Tuesday to authorize the deployment of up to 3,000 people to Iraq (news - web sites), including military policemen and relief workers, to help restore order and provide humanitarian assistance.
The proposal, outlined by Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, was expected to be endorsed by the legislature, where Premier Silvio Berlusconi's conservatives have a solid majority.
"We can't allow the aftermath of the war to make more victims than war itself," Frattini told Italian senators.
The full contingent would number between 2,500 and 3,000, including a military component that Frattini said was essential to make sure supplies would not be looted. Mine clearers, doctors and other relief workers would also participate, and a field hospital would be set up.
Italy has been supportive of the U.S.-led war in Iraq. It did not send any troops, but has said it would contribute to Iraq's reconstruction.
It wasn't clear when the contingent would leave.
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Italy May Deploy Up to 3,000 in Iraq
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