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Foreign troops from the United States and its NATO allies have begun the transfer of military bases and equipment to the Afghan army, the US commanding officer general Scott Miller confirmed Sunday in Kabul.
The withdrawal should be completed by Sep 11, Miller said.
“Officially, the notification date will be the first of May. But at the same time, as we start taking local actions, we've already begun that,” he said.
The United States, along with its NATO allies, invaded Afghanistan in October 2001. The ‘forever war’ was meant to eradicate terrorism of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. While Al-Qaeda suffered severe blows, it expanded to other countries and is still active in Afghanistan.
The Taliban on their part, consider themselves to be the victors in the war. “We're looking to ensure that the Afghan security forces have the bases, pieces of equipment, parts that are necessary for the functioning of the military,” he added.
The US military general said that the Taliban have committed to break their relationship with al-Qaeda.
“I've had the opportunity to talk to Taliban members with the Taliban Political Commission, and I've told them a return to violence, an effort to force a military decision, would be a tragedy for Afghanistan and the Afghan people,” he said.
In the most recent incident of violence, at least seven Afghan policemen were killed in an ambush by the Taliban in the province of Logar on Sunday.
"Seven policemen were killed and three wounded when the Taliban ambushed their vehicles in Mohammad Agha district of Logar province," said Dedar Lawang, spokesman for the provincial governor.
Fighting continues unabated across several provinces. The interior ministry said Sunday that the Taliban had carried out six attacks and 62 bombings over the previous 10 days, leaving more than 60 civilians dead and 180 wounded.
Thousands of Afghan civilians have lost their lives over the past two decades of conflict.