17,000 US troops in Afghanistan by mid-July

The Obama White House says that the 21,000 additional troops are to reinforce security ahead of the August 20 presidential elections, and are to support the NATO-led troops which have struggled to fight an escalating insurgency there.

The surge in US troops in Afghanistan comes amid frosty relations between Kabul and Washington, over the US bombing of civilians about a month ago.

The raid which left some 150 people including 95 children dead is dubbed as the deadliest incident for Afghan civilians since the 2001 US-led invasion.

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