Germany will send about 120 more soldiers to Afghanistan, German Minister of Defense Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg said Friday.

Guttenberg announced the troop increase while visiting the Kunduz region in Afghanistan.

The extra soldiers — an infantry company — will be sent to Afghanistan in January to support the German base in Kunduz, according to German news magazine Der Spiegel. Their task will be to defend the German base from outside attacks.

Violence has increased in the region, the magazine reported. After the Taliban announced the NATO transportation routes as targets, there have been several attacks on supply convoys, the magazine reported.

Last week, north of the German base, insurgents set fire to several trucks that were to deliver supplies to U.S. troops.

With the additional 120 soldiers, Germany will have some 4,500 soldiers in Afghanistan, which is the maximum troop level approved by the German parliament.

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