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    ISAF Troops Reportedly Blew up Vacated Bases

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    Foreign forces in Afghanistan destroyed on Sunday installations at two of their military bases in Faryab province rather than turn them over to President Hamid Karzai's forces, the Taliban said in a statement.

    Foreign forces in Afghanistan destroyed on Sunday installations at two of their military bases in Faryab province rather than turn them over to President Hamid Karzai's forces, the Taliban said in a statement.

    The foreign troops destroyed two compounds in the city of Maimana, Taliban spokesman Qari Yusuf Ahmadi said in a statement posted on the Voice of Jihad website. He did not specify the nationality of the foreign troops.

    There has been no confirmation of the incident from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.

    President Karzai earlier issued a decree ordering all property located on foreign military bases, including buildings under construction, to be transferred to Afghan security forces after the planned withdrawal of ISAF troops in 2014.

    Karzai said such buildings could be converted to schools, clinics and government offices.

    U.S. and NATO officials have so far proposed the large-scale consolidation of bases, saying the Afghan army lacks the logistical capacity to take over hundreds of bases in the country.

    There are currently 1,200 foreign military posts in Afghanistan, including large operating bases, according to Afghanistan's Defense Ministry.

    Meanwhile, French soldiers left the Torah base in the district of Surobi on Tuesday as part of NATO’s plans to wind down its combat mission by 2014, local media reported. The French had been working to integrate Surobi, about 50 kilometers east of Kabul, into a second phase of the transition process.

    French soldiers have removed all military equipment from the base, but handed their barracks over to the Afghan army, which is expected to take charge in the volatile region, local media cited General Mohammad Zaman Wasiri, commander of the Afghan 201st corps, as saying.

    "Afghans are already feeling the vacuum left by the departure of French troops from the region," Hazrat Mohammad Hakbin, the head of regional administration, told the Pajhwok Afghan news agency in an interview.

    He urged the central government to send more troops to the area, which frequently comes under rebel attacks.

     

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