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German gov’t approves extending Afghan deployment


Berlin : The German cabinet gave green light Tuesday to a 14-month extension of German troop deployment in Afghanistan. It also agreed to raise the number of Afghanistan-based German soldiers from 3,500 to 4,500 soldiers as part of a bill to be discussed by the parliament later in the day.

The German Parliament is expected to approve the bill once it comes up for vote in mid-October.

Germany has deployed around 3,500 soldiers in northern Afghanistan and Kabul as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in addition to police instructors and civilian reconstruction workers.

Some 28 German soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan since January 2002, according to official statistics.

Most Germans oppose their country’s participation in the war in Afghanistan.

Germany has also been the scene of popular mass protests against extending the Afghan military mission.