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Finland to Begin Afghan Withdrawal Next Year

A Finnish soldier with the International Security Assistant Force gives donations to an Afghans in Chemtal district of Balkh province north of Kabul, Afghanistan on Wednesday, February 2008. (file photo)

Finland says it will begin withdrawing its forces from Afghanistan next year.

The government said Tuesday that 50 of its 195 troops serving with the NATO-led force will return home in 2012.

All foreign combat troops are expected to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014. International troops have already begun transferring security control of parts of Afghanistan to local forces.

The Finnish government says it will shift its focus to development and the training of Afghan forces. The country also will continue to take part in the European Union Police Mission in Afghanistan.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.