07/09/2006

Commander calls for more Nato troops for Afghanistan

Nato's top commander has urged member nations to provide more troops in Afghanistan to support the current battle against Taliban militants.

General James Jones said that the military alliance had been surprised by the "level of intensity" of attacks in southern Afghanistan since Nato troops moved into the region in July.

Gen Jones said that they had also been surprised that militants were not relying on their traditional hit-and-run tactics.

Gen Jones is due to meet with generals from 26 Nato nations in Warsaw, Poland at the weekend and he said that he would ask for reinforcements, including additional troops and more helicopters.

However, he also told reporters that he was confident that the situation in southern Afghanistan could resolved in the relatively near future. He said: "Certainly before the winter, we will see this decisive moment in the region turn favourably to the forces that represent the government."

Two British soldiers were killed in separate incidents in Afghanistan on Wednesday. A third soldier, who was injured in an incident on September 1, also died from his injuries on Wednesday.

Forty British military personnel have been killed in Afghanistan since operations began in 2001.

(KMcA)

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