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Lieutenant-General David J. Richards (right) takes over command of the stabilization force in Kabul in May (epa)
June 4, 2006 -- The new commander of the NATO-led stabilization force in Afghanistan, British Lieutenant General David Richards, said the alliance will deploy twice as many troops to southern Afghanistan as a U.S.-led coalition has had there in recent years.
Speaking to journalists in Kabul today, Richards said the NATO force of some 6,000 soldiers will adopt new tactics in an attempt to quash a burgeoning rebellion in the south.
He said the force will be "very people-focused and people-friendly" in order to develop the support of the people. It takes over security duties from the coalition next month.
He said the number of troops the coalition has had in the region, some 3,000 soldiers, has not been sufficient to deal with the violence.