French combat troops out of Afghanistan

Dec. 15, 2012 at 8:11 AM

KABUL, Afghanistan, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- The last of the French combat troops left Afghanistan Saturday when about 200 soldiers from the 25th Belfort infantry regiment departed.

French officials said about 1,500 troops would remain in Afghanistan to train soldiers and prepare equipment so it can be returned to France, Radio France Internationale reported.

French troops operated in Kapisa province.

The remaining troops will be stationed mainly in Kabul.

RFI said the departure of the last of the combat troops fulfills a campaign promise of President Francois Hollande, who campaigned for an accelerated withdrawal of combat forces and called for their removal by the end of 2012, two years before all coalition combat troops withdraw.

Eighty-eight French troops have died in Afghanistan since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001.

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