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Dutch contingent pulls out of Afghan war

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Dutch contingent pulls out of Afghan war


Dutch troops have begun pulling out of Afghanistan after four years.

The last patrol in Uruzgan province marked the end of the 2,000 strong Dutch deployment there.

Nato had wanted the Netherlands to extend its mission but the request led to a political row which brought down the country’s coalition government.

The Dutch 3-D approach of defence, development and diplomacy has been lauded a success by Nato commanders but many Afghans remain unconvinced.

Civilian casualties have become a focal point of opposition to the Nato presence. Hundreds of people have been taking part in a march through Kabul to protest against the alleged killing of 45 non-combatants in an air-strike in Helmand province nine days ago.

Protester Dawood Razmak said: “Our demands are for Nato and the Americans to leave our country as soon as possible. We Afghans must come together to choose our path and forge the destiny of Afghanistan. We must end this deadlock.”

Officials in Brussels insist the rest of the military alliance remains solid and say the decision by the Dutch to pull out has not produced a chain reaction of withdrawals by other nations.

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