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Germany

Schröder Mulls Cancelling Afghan Trip

German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder could cancel his trip to Afghanistan in early October if the violence there escalates, a government source said Thursday after a rocket attack on a German-run reconstruction team. "We will have to leave that decision open to us if the tensions escalate," the source, who asked not to be named, said. Schröder is due to visit Kabul Oct. 11, two days after the Afghan presidential election. Four people were injured, one seriously, when two rockets were fired on the German-run provincial reconstruction team (PRT) in Kunduz, in northeastern Afghanistan, late Wednesday amid increasing violence before the election.
Schröder, who is also traveling to India, Vietnam and Pakistan on the Oct. 4-11 trip, will fly to Kabul from Islamabad on a Transall military plane. In the Afghan capital, he is to meet the commander of the International Security Assistance Force, President Hamid Karzai, representatives of the two German-run PRTs and the Special Representative of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in Afghanistan, Jean Arnault. Germany's parliament voted Thursday to extend the military mandate in Afghanistan by 12 months. (AFP)

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