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German Chancellor visits troops in Afghanistan
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08:19, April 07, 2009

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in northern Afghan province of Kunduz Monday morning to visit troops stationed there, an official at Kunduz province said but refused to be identified.

This is Merkel's second visit to Afghanistan with accompany by Defense Minister Franz-Josef Jung but has been kept secret due to security reason.

However, officials in the capital city Kabul are reluctant to make comment about the Chancellor's tour to the militancy-plagued country.

Security officials in Kunduz say that hours before of her visit to the province, a patrol team of German troops came under small arms attack in Chardara district but there were no casualties.

Moreover, five rockets, according to Nasir Alkozai a spokesman for German forces in Kunduz fired from unknown location early Saturday and landed on close to the base of German PRT (Provincial Reconstruction Team) outside Kunduz city but caused no loss of life or damage.

Some 3,800 German troops have been serving in Afghanistan mostly in the peaceful northern provinces with 700 in Kunduz within the framework of NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to help strengthen security in the war-torn country.

NATO has agreed to send additional 5,000 troops in Afghanistan for non-combat tasks during the alliance summit last weekend.


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