Denmark says will not further boost Afghan troops

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COPENHAGEN, Oct 8 (Reuters) Denmark has no plans to further boost the number of troops it has in Afghanistan as part of the International Security Assistance Force, Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said today.

Denmark has about 400 troops in Afghanistan and plans to increase the number to about 550 this month.

''No, we have no further plans now we have decided to increase the number of troops in the Helmand province, which brings Denmark among the top five countries per capita in Afghanistan,'' Rasmussen told a news conference after a meeting with NATO General-Secretary Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.

''We urge all partners in NATO to provide a sufficient number of troops for this very important NATO military operation.'' Last month, de Hoop Scheffer expressed disappointment that some of the 26 allies were not sending troops to fight the Taliban in the more dangerous southern provinces.

Germany in particular has been resisting pressure from the United States and other NATO countries to allow its 3,000 soldiers in Afghanistan to operate outside of the more stable north.

But de Hoop Scheffer today refused to single out Germany when prompted by a reporter's question.

''We should not focus specifically on the one or the other ally,'' he said. ''The fact that we have not yet been able to fully live up to the promises the nations made is a point of concern. The (Danish) prime minister and I will work together with other allies to see that nations deliver.'' REUTERS PD HT1845

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