Saturday 24 March 2018

Karzai backtracks on US pullout plan

Kimberly Dozier Kabul

Afghanistan's president has relented in his demand for all US special operations forces to withdraw from a strategic province east of the capital.

He has agreed to a compromise calling for the pullout of one team implicated in abuse allegations that the Americans have rejected.

Wardak province is viewed as a gateway to Kabul and has been the focus of counterinsurgency efforts in recent years.

But Mr Karzai last month ordered all US special operations forces out after locals accused Afghan troops working with the Americans of torture.

The US-led coalition denied the allegations. But NATO said Karzai and US General Joseph Dunford had agreed to remove a team of commandos and turn over security to government forces in Wardak's Nirkh district, the centre of the allegations.

Irish Independent

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