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Britain will withdraw a further 500 troops from Afghanistan by the end of next year, but will keep soldiers in the country in a training role until at least 2023, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday.

His confirmation that the second largest foreign contingent in Afghanistan will be reduced to 9,000 came a fortnight after President Barack Obama announced a big drawdown of US forces.
Despite concerns expressed by US and British military officers, Cameron said the withdrawal was possible because Afghanistan’s fledgling army and police were increasingly confident as the West prepares to hand over security duties by 2015.

“Today I can announce that the UK will be able to reduce its force levels by a further 500 from 9,500 to 9,000 by the end of 2012,” Cameron told the House of Commons.

Source: Danny Kemp for AFP.

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