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U.S. Hands Over Afghan War to Afghan Troops 12 Years After Invasion
KABUL, Afghanistan -- Afghan forces officially took over the country's security responsibilities today, signaling one of the biggest milestones of the war.
"This is a historic moment for our country and from tomorrow all of the security operations will be in the hands of the Afghan security forces," ABC News reports Afghan President Hamid Karzai as saying at a ceremony.
The country remains a violent place, however, punctuated by a large explosion that killed at least three people and injuring dozens more, the Afghan Ministry of Interior says. The blast was in the Pul-e-Surkh area of the western part of Kabul, about 15 miles from the transition ceremony, ABC News reports.
The transition means American and NATO troops will no longer plan, execute or lead any missions. U.S. air support will be available, but only if Afghans ask for it.
Americans will pull back to bigger bases, and not remain "on the front lines," ABC News reports. Americans will no longer engage the Taliban unless their are operating jointly with the Afghans.
ABC says dozens of bases will be handed over to the Afghans and other bases will be dismantled.
Source: ABC News
Photo, courtesy Sgt. Joseph R. Chenelly, U.S. Marine Corps: SOUTHERN AFGHANISTAN -- A Marine with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), Camp Pendleton, Calif., leads a column of Marines to a security position after seizing a Taliban forward-operating base Nov. 25.
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