1500 German Soldiers on a Suicide Mission in Afghanistan?

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German-ISAF

BERLIN -Germanywants to keep between 600 and 800 soldiers inAfghanistanfrom 2015 when mostinternational troopswill have withdrawn, DefenceMinister Thomas de Maizieresaid on Thursday.

The soldiers would have a two-year mandate to train Afghan security forces and would also provide logistical support, sanitary aid and protection, he said.

After that two-year period Germany would pare the mission down to a maximum of 300 soldiers concentrated in the capital Kabul to provide further training and support, de Maiziere said.

No final decision on the issue is expected until after Germanys national election in September. Any decision would be subject to the backing of the U.N. Security Council as well as of theAfghan government.

Around 4,350German soldiersare currently stationed in Afghanistan. In January Germanys Bundestag lower house of parliament agreed to reduce the number of soldiers to 3,300 by February 2014.

The NATO-ledInternational Security Assistance Force(ISAF) plans to withdraw by the end of 2014 and hand responsibility for security toAfghan soldiersand police. (Reuters)

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