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Belgium to Boost Troops Number in Afghanistan by Over 2.5 Times - Reports

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BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - The Belgian government approved a proposal by the country's Defense Ministry to increase the number of troops in Afghanistan more than 2.5-fold in 2019, local media reported on Friday.

According to the RTBF broadcaster, the number of servicemen will be gradually increased to 220 from 80 as of now.

The country will send not only military instructors, but also special forces to the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, it added.

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Belgium participates in NATO training mission in Afghanistan.

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The United States and NATO initially launched their military operations in Afghanistan in 2001 after the 9/11 terror attacks. While most of the US troops had been withdrawn from the country by the end of 2014, NATO launched a new mission in 2015, called Resolute Support, to provide training and assistance to the Afghan security forces. A total of 16,000 soldiers from 39 NATO countries are currently serving in Afghanistan as part of the mission.

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