Germany hands Kunduz camp to Afghan security forces
KUNDUZ, AFGHANISTAN - Germany on Sunday handed over command of its northern Kunduz camp to Afghan security forces, a milestone in the drawdown from a more than decade-long military deployment.
About 100,000 German troops have served in Afghanistan since 2002, and 54 have died there - 35 of them in combat - in Germany's deadliest post-World War II deployment.
Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle travelled to Kunduz, via the German headquarters at Mazar-i-Sharif, on an unannounced visit for the handover ceremony on Sunday.
"We hope and expect that the Afghan defence forces will ensure security in and around Kunduz and, if need be, restore it," said Mr De Maiziere. "It is a great responsibility which we are handing over to the Afghan security forces."