US sending 3,200 more troops to Afghanistan

WASHINGTON, Jan 10: US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has said he plans to send 3,200 additional troops to Afghanistan by April to deal with an expected Taliban offensive.

Mr Gates may approve the proposal on Friday. Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen and Commander of the US Central Command Admiral William Fallon have already endorsed the plan.

Some 27,000 US troops are currently in Afghanistan, about half as part of the Nato-led coalition.

The additional forces will include a Marine expeditionary unit and Marine battalion. The units will include helicopters, combat forces, and trainers to work with the Afghan army. They will go to the Helmand province, a Taliban stronghold.

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