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Britain Confirms Plans to Commit Additional Troops to Afghanistan


Britain's defense secretary says the nation will send additional soldiers to Afghanistan, only days after British officials announced a partial withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

In a statement Friday, Des Browne confirmed that Britain was committing more troops to Afghanistan, but he did not provide a figure.

Earlier Friday, British media reported that officials had decided to send as many as 1,000 additional soldiers.

There are currently about 5,000 British troops in the country as part of a NATO-led force.

In other news, around 25,000 Afghans rallied in Kabul's national stadium Friday in support of a controversial proposal that grants amnesty to people accused of war crimes.

Both houses of parliament have passed the amnesty resolution. The bill would cover Afghans who fought against Soviet occupation in the 1980s or engaged in civil war after Soviet troops withdrew.

Some former fighters are now members of the Afghan parliament and are among those accused of abuses.

President Hamid Karzai said he will consult with Islamic and constitutional experts before he decides whether to approve the bill. Some human rights groups say those accused of abuses must be brought to justice.

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

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