Germany plans to boost Afghan troop limit by 1,000

BERLIN Tue Jun 24, 2008 4:42am EDT

German armed forces ISAF soldiers walk inside their base camp in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz January 30, 2008. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

German armed forces ISAF soldiers walk inside their base camp in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz January 30, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch

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BERLIN (Reuters) - Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung said on Tuesday that Germany planned to increase the number of troops it can send to Afghanistan by 1,000 later this year.

Speaking at a news conference in Berlin, Jung said the government wanted to raise the ceiling on German soldiers in the country to 4,500. A parliamentary mandate which expires in October foresees a maximum of 3,500 German troops in Afghanistan.

Germany has been under pressure from NATO partners, particularly the United States, to bolster its troop contingent in Afghanistan and shift soldiers from the north to the more dangerous south to help battle Taliban insurgents.

(Reporting by Sabine Siebold; Writing by Noah Barkin)

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