Sarkozy Announces Withdrawal of 1,000 Troops from Afghanistan

Posted July 12th, 2011 at 2:20 am (UTC-5)
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France says it plans to withdraw a quarter of its combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2012.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said during an unnanounced visit to Afghanistan on Tuesday that 1,000 troops will leave the country by the end of next year. He said the remaining 3,000 French troops will be based mostly in the eastern part of the country .

President Sarkozy's visit to Afghanistan comes a day after a French soldier died after being accidentally shot by another French soldier. An investigation has been opened to establish the circumstances of the shooting.

A total of 64 French soldiers have died in Afghanistan since the war began in 2001.

All international combat troops are set to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014, transferring security control to local forces.