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Call to Increase Afghan Force

Published fredag 12 februari 2010 kl 10.15
Flags at half mast at Sweden's Camp Northern Lights in Afghanistan after the deaths of the two Swedish officers

Updated 1:08 PM

A high profile Swedish Liberal MP wants to increase the number of Swedish soldiers in Afghanistan by a further 100.

The Liberals are part of the coalition government that last fall raised the Swedish forces in the Isaf mission from 390 to its current level of 500. The move comes less than a week after two Swedish officers were killed in an attack in northern Afghanistan.

But the suggestion has not been supported by any other party, and even the leader of the Liberals wants to wait on the issue.

Liberal defence spokesman Allan Widman tells the newspaper “Dagens Nyheter” that the joint Swedish-Finnish force in northern Afghanistan is undermanned for the size of the area it has to patrol.

But Defence Minister Sten Tolgfors, a conservative Moderate, tells the newspaper that there is no increase planned.

The opposition Social Democrats’ foreign policy spokesman Urban Ahlin dismisses the proposal, commenting that the Liberals always want to increase the military, from tanks on the island of Gotland to more helicopters and more soliders.

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