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Afghans Take Over Security From NATO

As bomb hits western Kabul
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 18, 2013 6:36 AM CDT

(Newser) – It's a big day in Afghanistan: NATO has officially put Afghan forces in charge of the country's security. NATO forces will now serve as support to the Afghans ahead of NATO's withdrawal in a year and a half, CBS News notes. President Hamid Karzai and NATO head Anders Fogh Rasmussen attended a handover ceremony in Kabul, but not far away, violence continued: A bomb targeting an Afghan politician killed three civilians in western Kabul. Some 30 others were wounded, though former cabinet member Mohammed Mohaqiq survived the blast.

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The transfer of power was largely symbolic, the New York Times points out, since Afghan troops have been in charge of the effort against the Taliban in more than three-quarters of the country this year. Now, however, they are generally set to work more independently—without US air support, partnered units, and medical helicopters. The Times recounts a case in point: When two Afghan soldiers were hit with mines and a Taliban attack, "No one came to our aid and did anything," even though US helicopters were just above them. The summer will be a testing period for Afghan forces, the Times notes. (Read more Afghanistan stories.)

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