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French Troops End Afghan Combat Mission

French Combat Troops Start Afghan Withdrawal
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WATCH: French combat troops begin their withdrawal from Afghanistan

France ended its last combat mission in Afghanistan on November 20, withdrawing some 400 troops from Kapisa, a strategic province northeast of Kabul.

The troops had been stationed mostly at two bases in Tagab and Nejrab districts since 2003.

Paris has said all French combat soldiers will leave the country by December, two years before the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) led by the United States are due to depart.

Some 2,000 French soldiers will remain in noncombat roles, according to officials, with most due to return home by summer.

In July, the French contingent began an accelerated departure, which had been announced in May by new French President Francois Hollande.

At least 88 French soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan.

The Taliban on November 20 welcomed the withdrawal and said all ISAF forces should follow the French example.
Based on reporting by AFP and dpa