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Government Defends Afghanistan Mission

German government officials on Friday defended the presence of German soldiers in the Afghan province of Kunduz in the face of criticism the mission following the murder of eleven Chinese workers on Thursday. A government spokesman called the attack regrettable but added that "complete safety" was impossible under the current circumstances. Despite this, the so-called provincial reconstruction teams (PRT) should be continued. Together with Dutch soldiers, the German army plans to set up a second PRT in the town of Faizabad in the northeastern province of Badakshan. A German foreign ministry official also said the PRTs were necessary to prepare for elections scheduled to take place in the fall.

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