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Last French Combat Troops Leave Kabul

A French gunner secures a convoy leaving the forward operational base of Nijrab following a handover with the Afghan army as part of the withdrawal of French troops. (file photo)
The last French combat troops have left Afghanistan.

The 200 infantry soldiers left from Kabul airport on December 15 and are due to arrive in France on December 18 following a stopover in Cyprus.

The departure of the last French combat troops comes two years before allied nations in the 100,000-strong NATO mission led by the United States are due to recall their fighting forces.

France now has some 1,500 non-combat troops remaining in Afghanistan.

They are due to stay into 2013 to take responsibility for repatriating equipment and training the Afghan army to take over security duties.

After them, only a few hundred French soldiers involved in cooperation or
training missions will remain in the country.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa