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Nirkh: US forces out, ANA commandos in

Nirkh: US forces out, ANA commandos in

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Mar 30, 2013 - 18:11

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Afghan National Army (ANA) commandos on Saturday took over a base of US special forces in central Maidan Wardak province -- meeting a longstanding demand of the Karzai administration.

Afghan and American officials confirmed the transfer of the military centre in the wake of an agreement on the pullout of the special forces from the strategic province.

In late February, Karzai’s chief spokesman had said the US forces had been given two weeks to exit Wardak after local officials and residents accused them of harassing the people.

An investigation of public complaints by the Ministry of Defence also acknowledged the involvement of the foreign forces and the Afghans working with them in pestering civilians.

On Mar. 20, President Karzai and ISAFinfo-icon commander Gen. Joseph F. Dunford agreed on a plan to transition the district to Afghan security lead.

In a statement, the top US general said coalition troops had completed their transition from Nirkh to Afghan forces. 

"As we pledged, we have transitioned Nirkh to Afghan national forces and they have now assumed full responsibility for security in this key district,” Dunford added. 

US troops had been replaced by a team of Afghan forces, including ANA commandos, confirmed the governor’s spokesman, Attaullah Khogyani, who hoped the situation would get better.

He told Pajhwok Afghan News the switch was expected to be completed in a couple of days. The NATOinfo-icon-led forces were also shifting their equipment from the base, he added.

Mohammad Hanif Hanafi, the district’s administrative head, also verified the handover. He asserted Afghan security personnel’s capability of bringing stability to the area.

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