Karzai extends closure deadline for private security firms

KABUL - Afghan President Hamid Karzai scrapped on Sunday a March 2012 deadline he had set for the closure of private security firms, giving them until September 2013 to operate in the country.
Karzai, a frequent critic of private security companies, had previously set dates for the cessation of their work in Afghanistan, but each time the deadline was been extended.
He did not say why he was giving the firms an extra 18 months, but the second half of this year has seen some of the bloodiest attacks on civilians and soldiers in the past decade.
"We agreed with the office, and we give permission for them (to carry on working) for one and a half years more, and one and a half years later (in September 2013) our minister... will close them all," Karzai said.
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