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German Parliament Backs Extra Troops For Afghanistan

BERLIN (Reuters) -- Germany's lower house of parliament voted on October 16 to increase the number of troops Berlin can send to Afghanistan by 1,000 soldiers.

A majority of 442 lawmakers decided to support a proposal by Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling coalition to extend Berlin's participation in a NATO peacekeeping mission, which currently includes just over 50,000 soldiers overall.

Ninety six parliamentarians voted against and 32 abstained.

Under a previous parliamentary mandate, Germany was allowed to send up to 3,500 troops to Afghanistan. The mandate voted on October 16 increases that number to 4,500. The mandate is valid for 14 months.