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NATO: More Troops Needed In South Afghanistan

6 September 2005 -- The commander of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan says troop levels must rise as the force expands its role to the restive south of the country.

In an interview today with Germany's dpa news agency, General Mauro del Vecchio said 2,000-3,000 more troops need to be added to the existing force of 8,500.

The NATO-led ISAF is due to take over responsibility in southern Afghanistan in May 2006. A U.S.-led coalition is operating there now hunting down Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters who have increased attacks ahead of parliamentary elections on 18 September.


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For more on the Afghan elections, see RFE/RL and Radio Free Afghanistan's dedicated "Afghanistan Votes 2004-05" webpage.