NATO hands over control of province to Afghan troops

July 18th, 2011 - 5:38 am ICT by IANS  

Kabul, July 18 (IANS) NATO Sunday handed over control of the central Afghan province of Bamyan to Afghan security forces as part of a process designed to allow foreign troops to leave the country, Xinhua reported.

“Taking over security responsibility from NATO-led (ISAF International Security Force) troops to Afghan forces began in Bamyan this morning,” Sediq Sediqi, the spokesman for the Afghan interior ministry, told Xinhua.

Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak, Interior Minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi and Afghan Transition Coordination Commission chairman Asharaf Ghani Ahmadzai were among the officials who attended the transition ceremony.

More than 150 troops from New Zealand have been serving in Bamyan province as part of the ISAF mission.

Speaking on the occasion, the defence minister said Afghans must take control of the security of their country.

The transfer of the security responsibility of all Afghan provinces from NATO-led forces to the Afghan government are expected to be completed by the end of 2014.

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