Last Aussie Combat Troops Leave Afghanistan

400 trainers will stay on
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2013 12:03 AM CST
Last Aussie Combat Troops Leave Afghanistan
Australian soldiers, stand near local Afghans at a ceremony to open a Trade Training School at the Tarin Kowt military base in Uruzgan province, south of Kabul.   (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq, File)

Australia has called time on its longest-ever overseas military deployment after 12 years, 40 deaths, and 261 serious injuries. The final Australian combat troops left their base in Afghanistan's Uruzgan province today, though around 400 Australians will still serve in advisory roles across the nation, the Australian reports. Some 25,000 Australians served in the country and their "sacrifice has not been in vain," Prime Minister Tony Abbott told reporters.

"Uruzgan today is a very significantly different better place than it was a decade ago," Abbott said. Some 600 interpreters who aided Australian forces have been promised resettlement in Australia along with their families. Abbott has promised that they won't be left behind to face Taliban revenge attacks, but some of them have been told they will have to wait months to leave and at least one interpreter has been assassinated while waiting for a visa, the Sydney Morning Herald finds. (Read more Australia stories.)

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