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France Ends Combat Mission in Afghanistan

French General Eric Hautecloque Raysz (R) and his Afghan counterpart General Mohammad Zaman Waziri salute during handover ceremony, November 20, 2012.
France has ended its combat mission in Afghanistan, pulling its last troops from a province northeast of the capital, Kabul.

Tuesday's withdrawal of 500 combat troops from Kapisa province is part of President Francois Hollande's pledge to accelerate the country's exit from Afghanistan. Afghan security forces will now be in charge of maintaining security in the province.

France had been the fifth-largest contributor to the NATO-led coalition. It is keeping 1,500 troops in Afghanistan to help send equipment back home and to train Afghan forces.

Eighty-eight French troops have died in Afghanistan since France joined the fighting in late 2001.

Remaining international combat troops are set to leave the country by the end of 2014.

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