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Nato begins handover of responsibilties to Afghan forces
Posted by The Agonist on July 17th, 2011

From our partners at The Agonist

Bamyan, Afghanistan | July 17

RFI – Afghanistan has begun handing over responsibility for security from Nato soldiers to its own troops in a process designed to leave the country free of international combat forces by 2014. Seven parts of the country will be transferred over the week in a move that could take up to two years to complete.

“A ceremony was held in Bamyan police headquarters today to mark the official transition of responsibilities from foreign forces to Afghan forces,” said interior ministry spokesman Siddiq Siddiqi.

The ceremony was attended by the head of the national transition committee, former finance minister Ashraf Ghani, along with national ministers of interior, defence and public works. The deputy head of Afghanistan’s intelligence agency also attended and the New Zealand ambassador to Kabul, representing his troops who have been based in the area.

The central mountainous province of Bamyan is a devoutly anti-Taliban area populated by the ethnic Hazara minority and home to two sixth century Buddhist statues that were blown up by the Islamists during their brutal reign.

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