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Denmark To Pull Half Of Its Afghan Troops A Year Early

Denmark says it will withdraw more than half of its 650 soldiers from Afghanistan in August, a year earlier than planned.

Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt said that an infantry unit in southern Helmand Province will be withdrawn in August without being replaced, as previously planned.

Thorning-Schmidt said the only Danish unit left in Afghanistan will be a 300-strong tank unit.

Danish media had reported earlier on March 19 that all of Denmark's forces would be withdrawn in August.

Denmark has lost 43 soldiers since international forces were deployed in Afghanistan in late 2001.

NATO-led combat troops are scheduled to pull out by the end of 2014, when their security responsibilities will be taken over by Afghan soldiers and police.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa