BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Brazil's environment minister says the government has increased the number of its inspectors in the Amazon rainforest to help halt a rise in illegal deforestation.

Izabella Teixeira said Thursday at a deforestation seminar that the number of government inspectors in the region was upped to combat a new tactic by loggers, who are stripping smaller areas that are more difficult to detect by satellite. She didn't say how many inspectors have been deployed since the beginning of the year.

Teixeira says deforestation destroyed 4,600 square kilometers (1,776 square miles) of Amazon rain forest in 2012. That was the lowest level since 2004, when 28,000 square kilometers (10,810 square miles) were deforested.

She says that Brazil hopes to reduce deforestation to 3,925 square kilometers (1,515 square miles) a year by 2020.

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