Australian troops to close Uruzgan base (video)
KABUL (PAN): Defence Minister Stephen Smith on Tuesday announced that Australia would shut its military base in central Uruzgan province and bring home most of its troops from Afghanistan before the end of 2013.
Australia has 1,650 soldiers in Afghanistan in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) framework, deployed to Uruzgan, Kandahar and Kabul provinces. But most of them are stationed in Uruzgan. So far, 39 Australian have been killed and 242 wounded in Afghanistan.
Smith said NATO and Afghan commanders had agreed that the base in Tirinkot would close at the end of 2013. "It is a necessary and logical consequence of transition being effective. The effect of that closure will be that Australia will no longer have a permanent presence in Uruzgan."
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