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NATO Chiefs Discuss Afghanistan Reinforcements

NATO chief de Hoop Scheffer (left) with Afghan Presiident Hamid Karzai in Kabul on September 6 (epa) September 8, 2006 -- NATO military chiefs are meeting in Warsaw today to discuss sending more troops to Afghanistan.

The alliance's top commander, U.S. General James Jones, said he would urge members to send up to 2,500 more troops with planes and helicopters to help deal with increased violence in the south.

Britain's senior commander, Brigadier Ed Butler, described the fighting in Afghanistan as more ferocious than in Iraq.

NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer earler criticized some allies for not doing enough.

NATO provides the bulk of some 20,000 international forces assisting with security in Afghanistan, and now leads the fight against militants in the south.

Meanwhile, a suspected suicide attacker has exploded a bomb close to the U.S. Embassy in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

News agencies quoted Afghan officials as saying at least seven people have been killed, including five foreigners. The dead are said to include U.S. soldiers, as well as Afghan civilians.

AP quoted a U.S. military spokesperson as saying a U.S. convoy was the target of the attack.

(Reuters, AP, AFP)