15 Jul '11, 9am

The first batch of 10,000 US soldiers leave Afghanistan as drawdown begins

The first batch of 10,000 US soldiers leave Afghanistan as drawdown begins

US soldiers board a U.S. military aircraft as they leave Afghanistan, at the U.S. base in Bagram, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, July 14, 2011. -- PHOTO: AP KABUL - THE first group of about 10,000 US soldiers due to leave Afghanistan this year have already left, military officials said on Friday, kicking off a gradual drawdown due to be completed in 2014. US President Barack Obama in June announced that 33,000 American troops would leave Afghanistan by the end of next summer, leaving behind 65,000 and effectively ending a military ordered into the country late 2009. Around 650 US army troops deployed north-west of the capital in the province of Parwan, flew out on Wednesday and will not be replaced by an incoming unit, the US military confirmed on Friday. 'It's correct that these soldiers are the first to redeploy from Afghanistan without being replaced by a new ro...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/World/Story/STIS...

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