Poland has announced it will send 1,000 troops to Afghanistan next February to bolster the NATO peacekeeping force in the region.

The troops will join 100 Polish soldiers already on the ground in Afghanistan.

Poland is the first NATO member to commit more soldiers to the existing 20,000-strong force in the country.

The announcement comes after military commanders in Afghanistan said another 2,500 troops were needed to help the fight against the Taliban.

NATO military commander General James Jones made the appeal amid heavy fighting in southern Afghanistan.

The alliance has faced stronger than expected resistance after taking over operations in the south of the country from US forces on 31 July.

More than 90 foreign troops have been killed in the region this year, and the casualties in the south have raised questions over NATO's ability to successfully complete its mission.