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Merkel: No Plans to Shift German Troops to Southern Afghanistan


Germany's chancellor, Angela Merkel, says she has no plans to shift German troops from northern Afghanistan to the volatile south of the country.

Germany has about 29,00 troops in northern Afghanistan as part of a NATO-led force.

Ms. Merkel said Wednesday the German military is performing an "important and dangerous" task in the north.

She said German troops are helping reconstruction and providing security to 40 percent of the Afghan population.

The United States and other NATO members have put pressure on Germany to move troops to southern Afghanistan to help deal with an insurgency by the Taleban.

But, the chancellor said she does not see Germany's military commitment in Afghanistan going beyond the current mandate set by parliament.

Germany's parliament has stipulated that German troops are to be stationed in northern Afghanistan, and can help out in the south only an emergency basis.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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