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3,800 British troops to leave Afghanistan by end of ’13

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 19, 2012 at 7:07 a.m.

— Prime Minister David Cameron announced Wednesday that some 3,800 British troops would be withdrawn from Afghanistan by the end of 2013.

Some 5,000 will remain into 2014, Cameron told lawmakers.

The announcement comes after a lengthy video call Tuesday between Cameron and U.S. President Barack Obama.

There are some 60,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Cameron said the decision reflects an increasing confidence in the Afghan National Security Forces.

“Our combat mission is drawing to a close, but our commitment to the Afghan people is long-term,” said Defense Secretary Philip Hammond.

Since 2001, 433 British troops have died in Afghanistan.

Last month, France ended its combat operations in Afghanistan, pulling hundreds of troops from a base in a volatile region northeast of Kabul and fulfilling promises to end its combat role on a faster track than other NATO allies.

France has lost 88 troops in Afghanistan since late 2001.

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