Thousands Of Troops, Up From Initial Estimate Of 800, Could Head To Border

US Secretary of Defence James Mattis addresses a press conference on October 28, 2018 in Prague. - Mattis arrived in the Czech Republic marking the 100th anniversary of the creation of the independent Czechoslovak st... US Secretary of Defence James Mattis addresses a press conference on October 28, 2018 in Prague. - Mattis arrived in the Czech Republic marking the 100th anniversary of the creation of the independent Czechoslovak state in 1918. (Photo by Stringer / AFP) (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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October 29, 2018 12:44 pm
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Three U.S. officials say the number of military troops deployed to the southern border in support of the Customs and Border Patrol could be in the thousands.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a troop plan that was not yet completed and had not yet been approved by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

The Wall Street Journal reported the planned deployment was likely to be much higher than officials had disclosed late last week when preliminary figures of 800 to 1,000 were cited. The Journal reported that the Pentagon plans to deploy 5,000 troops, mainly military police and engineers.

The troops are expected to perform a wide variety of functions such as transporting supplies for the Border Patrol, but not engage directly with migrants seeking to cross the border from Mexico, officials said.

–By Robert Burns and Colleen Long

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