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On the Afghan front line with euronews

On the Afghan front line with euronews
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While Angela Merkel defends her country’s presence in Afghanistan, ordinary Germans remain opposed to their involvement in the NATO-led operation.

Public support has eroded since September 11, 2001 and polls suggest as many as 70 per cent want their 4,500 troops home.

One reason is the increasing number of German fatalities. Seven have died this month alone.

Another is the number of ordinary Afghans being killed by NATO forces. A German-ordered airstrike last September claimed the lives of 142 people, most of them civilians.

It is on streets like these in Kunduz where German troops are being attacked. This town is the scene where that fatal airstike took place some nine months ago.

So-called checkpoints are mere mud-shack shelters. German troops explain it is difficult to effectively secure an area like this when the Taliban remain so active.

Aside from safety, Germany is also responsible for reconstruction of the region and the training of local Afghan police officers.

But as NATO forces fight off regular Taliban attacks, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has angered the military alliance by inviting them to the negotiating table.

The US wants to pour an extra 30,000 troops into the country is seeking help from its European partners such as Germany.

But sending more German troops will be tough for Merkel sell to an increasingly war-sceptic public.