August 31, 2005

US orders 10,000 more Guard troops to storm region

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military will send another
10,000 National Guard troops to Louisiana and Mississippi by
Friday night, bringing to 21,000 the total number deployed in
the four Gulf states battered by Hurricane Katrina, a senior
Army general said on Thursday.

Lt. Gen. Steven Blum, head of the military's National Guard
Bureau, told reporters that one-third of the 21,000 troops will
be dedicated to help keep law and order in the devastated
region, which includes Alabama and Florida.

Blum said the governors of the four states, especially
Louisiana and Mississippi where looting has taken place, in the
wake of the hurricane's assault on Monday, were worried about
law and order.

"Right now, we're worried about law and order, food and
medical care," Blum said, adding that both the current troops
and the additional troops, who are being sent to Louisana and
Mississippi from 12 other states, would remain under the
command of the governors.

Hundreds of five-tonne military trucks will also be sent in
the days ahead and communications specialists and other units
will be among the fresh troops, he added.