Afghan army set to assume more duty in Kabul: German minister
IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency
Berlin, Aug 16, IRNA
The Afghan army is expected to assume more security responsibilities in Kabul over the next six to nine months, German Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung told the daily Rheinischen Post newspaper on Saturday.
"Afghan (security) forces have to ensure Kabul's security over the next six to nine months," Jung said.
The German army will also step up the training of the Afghan army to 7,500 soldiers, he added.
The annual cost of the Afghan deployment of the German military is estimated to increase from 466.9 to 500 million euros, according to Jung.
There are currently 50,000 Afghan troops who were instructed by western military advisers.
The German government is facing increased public pressure to pull out its forces from the war-stricken country.
Germany has deployed around 3,500 soldiers in northern Afghanistan and Kabul as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in addition to police instructors and civilian reconstruction workers.
Some 26 German soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan since January 2002, according to official statistics.
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