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Author Topic: France ends combat mission in Afghanistan  (Read 991 times)
MontyB
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« on: 20 November 2012, 21:49:50 »
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France ends combat mission in Afghanistan
By Joris Fioriti (AFP) – 1 hour ago

NIJRAB BASE, Afghanistan — France ended its combat mission in Afghanistan on Tuesday, withdrawing troops from a strategic province northeast of Kabul as part of a quickened departure from the war-torn country.

Paris says all French combat soldiers will leave the country next month, two years before allied nations contributing to the 100,000-strong International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) led by the United States are due to depart.

Taliban insurgents called on other foreign forces to follow France's example.

"We urge the others to follow France and leave Afghanistan, end the occupation of Afghanistan and leave the fate of the country to Afghans themselves," spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed told AFP.

France has lost 88 soldiers in Afghanistan and has been the fifth largest contributor to ISAF, behind the United States, Britain, Germany and Italy.

Paris decided to accelerate its withdrawal after a string of deadly attacks in 2011 and 2012, including a January assault in which an Afghan soldier shot dead five French troops as they were jogging at their Kapisa base.

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