Pentagon Extends Tours for Marines in Afghanistan

By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2008 11:08 AM CDT
U.S. Marines, from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, look through their guns during a patrol in the town of Garmser in Helmand Province of Afghanistan, Sunday, July 13, 2008.    (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
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(Newser) – As the situation in Afghanistan worsens, 1,000 Marines deployed to train local security forces will stay there for at least another 30 days, mirroring an identical move last month for another group of Marines elsewhere in the country, Reuters reports. A defense official confirmed the move, which has yet to be officially announced, adding that fewer than 200 support troops are being deployed to aid Marines already on the ground.

The Pentagon is acting in response to growing concerns about escalating violence from a resurgent Taliban and other militant groups, many of which are thought to be training in safe havens along the lawless Afghan-Pakistan border. The latest extension will keep the 27th Marine Expeditionary unit, there since April, in Afghanistan into December.