Nearly half of UK forces to leave Afghanistan in 2013

By REUTERS
December 19, 2012 18:06

 
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LONDON - Britain will withdraw nearly half its troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2013, the government said on Wednesday, as part of a security handover to Afghan forces more than a decade after the US-led invasion.

Nearly all of Britain's 9,000 soldiers are due to pull out when the NATO mission finishes in late 2014, ending a long, costly and unpopular war that has cost the lives of 438 UK troops.

Like the United States, Britain will leave behind an undisclosed number of soldiers after 2014 to help local forces face threats from the Taliban and its al Qaeda allies.

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