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US and Afghanistan sign Security Pact

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Afghanistan has signed a long-delayed security deal which will allow some US troops to stay in the country next year.

National security adviser Hanif Atmar and US ambassador James Cunningham signed the bilateral security agreement (BSA).

Under the terms of the agreement, troops from Germany, Italy and other NATO members will join a force of 9,800 US soldiers, bringing numbers up to about 12,500.

After NATO’s combat mission ends in December, the new mission, named Resolute Support, will focus on training and support for the Afghan army and police as they take on Taliban fighters.

The Afghan security forces will be in charge of full security of their country and will be further equipped and strengthened through NATO training.

The new order also allows air support from US jets, bombers and drones for Afghan combat missions.

There are currently about 41,000 NATO troops in Afghanistan, down from a peak of 130,000 in 2012.