NATO to lead US troops in Afghanistan

Updated: 2006-10-01 16:11
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KABUL, Afghanistan - NATO will take command of up to 12,000 US troops and the territory they control in Afghanistan in "few days," a spokesman for the alliance said Sunday.

The planned expansion of the alliance's operation to the rest of the country will complete the transfer of most military responsibilities from the U.S.-led coalition to NATO under the command of British Lt. Gen. David Richards.

The overall American force level in the country will remain unchanged, said Mark Laity, an alliance spokesman in Kabul.

Some 8,000 US troops tracking of al-Qaida terrorists or involved in aerial operations will remain under direct US command, Laity said.