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US continues buildup of marines in Mideast

A new amphibious landing force of 1,800 marines entered the Indian Ocean through the Suez Canal Thursday, the Pentagon said. The move had been expected since a similar unit of 1,800 assault troops left the Indian Ocean-Persian Gulf area June 1.

The battalion, with five amphibious warships led by the helicopter carrier Guadalcanal, is normally stationed with the US Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean.

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A fleet of seven chartered civilian cargo ships will arrive in the Indian Ocean later this month with supplies and provisions for a 12,000-man Marine Corps brigade.