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Washington: US Defense Secretary James Mattis said that the Pentagon plans to send another 3,000 troops to strengthen his country's military presence in Afghanistan, local media reported.

"It is exactly over 3,000 somewhat and frankly I haven't signed the last of the orders right now as we look at specific, small elements that are going," Mattis told a group of reporters on Monday.

In late August, Washington confirmed that the US planned to send more troops to Afghanistan as part of President Donald Trump's new strategy for the Asian country, though at that time the exact number was not specified, Efe news reported.

The announcement by Mattis comes after Trump announced last August 21 that the US would continue fighting the longest war in its history, a war that has gone on for almost 16 years.

At that time, the president said he would prefer not to "talk about numbers of troops or our plans for further military activities", considering it "counterproductive" to give the enemy information that, in his opinion, could be used to its advantage.

Nonetheless, late last August the Pentagon confirmed that the US had 11,000 troops deployed in Afghanistan.

During the conflict that began at the end of 2001, some 2,400 Americans have lost their lives and Washington has spent more than $700 billion between military operations and reconstruction.

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