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Bulgaria To Withdraw Part Of Afghan Contingent

The Bulgarian government says it will pull a significant part of its troop contingent out of Afghanistan.

Bulgarian troops stationed at Kabul airport will be withdrawn on March 1, followed by a team of instructors on March 31.

The decision will mean that Bulgaria will withdraw some 40 percent of its 600-member contingent that is part of the International Security Assistance Force by the end of March.

According to a government press release, the remainder of the Bulgarian contingent will stay in Afghanistan until 2014, when the majority of NATO-led forces leave.

After 2014, Bulgaria will only have a team of advisers in the country.

Bulgaria, which joined NATO in 2004, has been participating in the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan since 2002.

Based on reporting by Xinhua and dpa