BRUSSELS, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Germany's Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere said on Friday that U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told NATO allies gathered in Brussels that the United States would keep between 8,000 and 12,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014, when the NATO combat mission is due to end.
"The American defense secretary announced that the United States will be in a magnitude of 8,000 to 12,000 troops involved in Afghanistan" post-2014, the German minister said.
Panetta or his aides were not immediately available to comment. He was due to address a news conference shortly. (Reporting by Ilona Wissenbach)