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Britain to keep troops in Afghanistan in 2016: minister

LONDON: Britain will keep its current level of 450 troops on non-combat missions in Afghanistan into 2016, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said in a written statement to parliament on Tuesday.

The announcement comes after the United States earlier this month announced that thousands of its troops would stay in Afghanistan longer than promised following intense recent fighting.

“Both the US and our own decisions underline NATO’s continued commitment to training and assisting Afghan forces as they grow stronger,” Fallon said.

“We have now concluded that we should maintain the scale of the UK’s current military mission in the country in 2016, to help build a secure and stable Afghanistan,” he added.

Fallon explained that British troops were involved in training Afghan army officers, building capacity in Afghan security ministries and supporting NATO operations in Kabul.

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