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A Dutch soldier on patrol in Kandahar Province (file photo) (NATO)
November 29, 2006 -- Unconfirmed reports say some NATO countries have agreed at a summit in Latvia to ease restrictions on where and how their troops can fight in Afghanistan.
The agency reports, quoting unnamed NATO officials, come after U.S. President George W. Bush called on alliance members to lift restrictions to enable commanders to combat a growing Taliban threat.
Some countries had been criticized for keeping their troops out of harm's way in safer areas of Afghanistan.
Reuters quotes NATO officials as saying France, Germany, Italy, and Spain promised to send soldiers anywhere in Afghanistan in emergencies.
But Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel, said any help from her country in the volatile south would be temporary.
The summit ends today, following a morning working session in which leaders are expected to focus on NATO's transformation to better deal with modern security threats.
(Reuters, AFP, AP)
A U.S. military vehicle damaged by insurgents near Kandahar (epa)
HOMEGROWN OR IMPORTED? As attacks against Afghan and international forces continue relentlessly, RFE/RL hosted a briefing to discuss the nature of the Afghan insurgency. The discussion featured Marvin Weinbaum, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and RFE/RL Afghanistan analyst Amin Tarzi.
Listen to the entire briefing (about 83 minutes):Real Audio Windows Media
RFE/RL's coverage of Afghanistan
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