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NATO Chief: Allies Must Send More Troops to Afghanistan


NATO's secretary general says NATO member states must follow the lead of the United States and send more troops to Afghanistan.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen told reporters in Berlin Thursday it is critically important that a U.S. announcement of additional troops is followed by similar announcements from US allies in NATO.

Rasmussen says he is contacting NATO members and pressing them to commit more soldiers.

He made the comments after talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The White House says President Barack Obama will announce his long-awaited strategy for Afghanistan on Tuesday night in a speech at the U.S. military academy at West Point in New York.

News reports say Mr. Obama is most likely to call for the deployment of at least 30,000 more U.S. troops.

There are currently 68,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

In a message posted on a Taliban Web site Wednesday, the Taliban's reclusive leader Mullah Omar said militants will defeat international troops, regardless of the number deployed.

In other news, NATO says its troops are assisting in the search for a cargo helicopter that is missing in Afghanistan.

NATO spokesmen Thursday declined to say where the search is taking place, citing security reasons.

The Netherlands-based firm Supreme Global Services, which handles catering and logistics, chartered the helicopter.

It disappeared this week, but there are conflicting reports about which day it went missing.

Officials in central Afghanistan's Logar province say there were reports Wednesday night of a helicopter making an emergency landing, but It was not immediately clear if that was the cargo helicopter reported missing.

Some information for this report provided by Bloomberg and Reuters.