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NATO To Take Over In Afghanistan

(RFE/RL) October 3, 2006 -- NATO will assume responsibility for security across the whole of Afghanistan on October 5, when it takes command in the east.

NATO's senior civilian representative in Afghanistan, Daan Everts, made the announcement today in Kabul.

"On October 5, NATO's security assistance will be expanded to all of Afghanistan, and most of the U.S. forces that are still operating under their own command right now in the east will join the overall ISAF organization and be part of the unified ISAF command," he said.

NATO currently has 20,000 soldiers in Afghanistan as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

The takeover will bring some 12,000 U.S. troops operating in eastern Afghanistan under NATO command.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military said two U.S. and one Afghan soldiers had been killed in fighting in the eastern Konar Province. Three U.S. soldiers also were wounded in October 2 fighting in the Pech District of Konar Province.

About 140 foreign troops have been killed in violence or accidents during operations in Afghanistan this year.

(Reuters, AP, AFP, dpa)