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Spain authorizes US rapid reaction force in south

Friday - 4/19/2013, 11:28am  ET

MADRID (AP) -- Spain's government has authorized the temporary deployment of a force of 500 U.S. marines and eight U.S. aircraft to the southwestern Moron de la Frontera air base as part of rapid reaction force to deal with crisis situations in Africa.

The authorization stems from a 1988 cooperation agreement between Spain and the U.S. and was granted for a period of one year by Spain's Cabinet on Friday.

Spain previously authorized the temporary deployment from March to November, 2011, of up to 45 aircraft at the Moron and Rota bases.

The U.S. Embassy in Madrid said Friday that "following the tragedy in the Libyan city of Benghazi," where four U.S. citizens were killed, the U.S. recognized the need for a force able to respond quickly to crises in northwest Africa.

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