US & Canada

Canada considers extending Afghanistan mission

Canadian troops rescue an injured Afghan civilian
Image caption More than 150 Canadian troops have died in Afghanistan, according to a tally by

Canada is poised to extend its military commitment in Afghanistan for three years beyond a withdrawal deadline of July 2011, officials have said.

The Conservative-led government may leave non-combat troops to support a Nato training mission, officials said.

Canada has about 3,000 troops in Afghanistan.

Canada has come under international pressure not to pull out at a time when the US is boosting its military commitment.

The Canadian Press agency reported Prime Minister Stephen Harper was expected to make a decision before a Nato summit in Lisbon on 18 November.

"Knowing that the mission in Afghanistan has work that is yet to be done, we are now considering this," Defence Minister Peter MacKay told reporters on Sunday. "Training is an option and it's something we're very good at."

The troops would train Afghan army and police units, Mr McKay said.

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