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Latest update : 2010-04-22

Angst over Afghan engagement

It's been a deadly few weeks for the German mission in Afghanistan, with seven soldiers killed since Good Friday. The German government is seen to be coming under increasing popular pressure to end the mission.

Only weeks ago, the conflict in Afghanistan still seemed far away. But in less than a month, seven German soldiers have died in combat. A total of 43 have now died in Afghanistan since 2001.

Germans are slowly becoming aware of the dangers to which their army is being exposed. Two weeks ago, the German Chancellor attended the funerals of three of the soldiers - a first for Angela Merkel. Within the Bundeswehr, the Chancellor’s presence was perceived as a strong gesture.

Christoph Schnurr, a young member of parliament (FDP) and specialist in defence matters, was in Afghanistan during the fighting which last week cost four soldiers their lives. He believes that what is essential right now is that Germans show support for their troops, for example by wearing a yellow ribbon. 

By Anne MAILLIET

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