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Hammond announces soldier return

Hammond announces soldier return
British troop numbers in Afghanistan will fall to 5,200 by the end of next year, the Defence Secretary has confirmed.

Philip Hammond told MPs that Afghan forces had made good progress in managing their own security and "the picture as a whole is of an insurgency weakened".

The move means that almost 4,000 British troops will be leaving Afghanistan over the next year. Mr Hammond said he expected two phases of drawdown, one in April of next year and another in September/October.

He also echoed David Cameron's words at Prime Minister's Questions that the "clear message" from the Government was of "firm and ongoing commitment" to help the Afghans National Security Force.

The Government will continue to help the Afghans with £70m funding for the security forces, but no troops will remain in a combat role after 2014. Mr Cameron confirmed that a small number of troops would still be involved in "returning equipment and dealing with logistics".

Green Box: Hammond announces soldier returnClick to open

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