Canadian Lawmakers Approve Extended Mission in Afghanistan Provided NATO Adds More Troops

Parliament voted Thursday to extend the country's mission in Afghanistan to 2011, provided NATO supplies more troops and equipment to back up forces in the volatile south.

The minority Conservative government and opposition Liberals agreed last month to vote together on this motion. Lawmakers passed it 198-77 in the House of Commons.

Harper's government has been under pressure to withdraw Canada's 2,500 troops after one diplomat and 80 soldiers were killed. The mission was set to expire in February 2009 unless it was extended by lawmakers.

The Conservatives declared the motion a confidence vote, which would have triggered early elections if it failed.