MEHTAR LAM, Afghanistan, June 17 (UPI) -- Many residents of Afghanistan's Laghman province say they are happy U.S. and other foreign troops will be leaving their country.
Laghman province is one of seven regions in Afghanistan chosen for an early, if partly symbolic, transition from foreign to Afghan security control beginning next month, The Washington Post reported. All foreign combat troops are to leave Afghanistan by 2014.
Residents of the province said they are tired of heavily armed military convoys forcing them off the road and many are sure the Afghan police and army will do a better job of protecting them than foreign troops.
"When the Americans leave, we will all pass out sweets," said Najibullah, 24, a mechanic who has a brother in the army. "They have paved the roads and done other good things but they have created problems, too. The Taliban say they come here to do jihad but that is just an excuse. Once the Americans leave the excuse will be gone. If the Taliban come back and kill my brother, I will be the first to kill them."
Not everyone will be glad to see U.S. soldiers leave Afghanistan.
"Our area of security is shrinking every day," said Laghman provincial council head Atiqullah Rahmzai, whose predecessor was killed in a Taliban ambush in March. "We were happy the foreign forces were here and our biggest concern is what will happen when they leave. We will still be all right in the city, but if we don't create local police forces who is going to go out and protect people in the villages?"