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Obama authorises 17,000 troop increase for Afghanistan

17/02/2009 - 21:54

DENVER (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama has authorised a 17,000 troop increase for Afghanistan, the White House said on Tuesday.

"The decision was communicated to the Pentagon yesterday. The orders were signed today," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters travelling with Obama in Denver.

The 17,000 includes troops and support personnel/

"This increase is necessary to stabilise a deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, which has not received the strategic attention, direction and resources it urgently requires," Obama said in a written statement.

(Reporting by Caren Bohan)

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