Czech Defense Ministry plans to deploy 200 more troops in Afghanistan next year

PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Defense Ministry says it's planning to increase the number of troops in Afghanistan by 200 next year.

Spokesman Jiri Grund says the ministry wants to deploy to Afghanistan some of the 400 troops it will withdraw from Kosovo later this year.

Grund said Thursday that "a worsened security situation" in Afghanistan has prompted the move, which still needs approval by the government and Parliament.

The 200 would join as many as 535 Czech soldiers whose deployment as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan had been approved by Parliament.

Earlier this year, Czech Republic agreed to contribute 55 more instructors to train the expanding Afghan security forces following a NATO request.