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Afghanistan: US hands control of the Nirkh district to Afghan forces

US special operations forces handed over control of part of Wardak province to Afghan security forces today.

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Soldiers from the Afghanistan National Army and US Army soldiers from the 3rd platoon Delta company conduct a joint patrol at Nevay-deh village in Kandahar province on September 5, 2012. (TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images)

US special operations forces handed over control of part of Wardak province in eastern Afghanistan to Afghan security forces today, the US military announced.

“As we pledged, our forces have transitioned Nirkh district to Afghan national security forces and they have now assumed full responsibility for security," US Gen. Joseph Dunford, the top commander of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, said, according to the Associated Press.

More from GlobalPost: US to start pullout from Afghanistan's Wardak province within 'days:' Official

Following allegations earlier this year that the Americans’ Afghan police counterparts had tortured, kidnapped and executed suspected militants in Wardak, Afghan President Hamid Kharzai had demanded that US forces leave the province, the Guardian reported. He later demanded they leave just the Nirkh district.

According to the Guardian:

One Wardak government official expressed relief that the agreement crafted with Karzai did not mean the complete pullout of US forces from the province, saying that local officials were worried their new forces would not yet be able to keep hardcore insurgents out of the area.

"American special operations forces are integral in the defense of Wardak from now until the foreseeable future," Maj. Gen. Tony Thomas told the AP in an interview at Camp Integrity, outside Kabul.
 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/afghanistan/130330/afghanistan-us-hands-control-the-nirkh-distric