10,000 extra NATO troops to leave for Afghanistan

NATO will send more than 10,000 extra troops to Afghanistan, the 26-nation group's Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer affirmed Thursday, which would double its force in the insurgency-hit country.

The expansion of the NATO-lead International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) into the volatile southern part of the country "will of course lead to the arrival of certainly a few thousand extra NATO forces," he told.

"I can't give you the exact numbers, but you may say it will be well over 10,000, between 13 and 14, 15,000," he said after talks with President Hamid Karzai.

The ISAF force that has been in Afghanistan since late 2001 and came under NATO control in 2003 currently numbers about 10,000 troops. It is due to move into the southern part of Afghanistan next year, AFP reorts.

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