200 French troops leave Afghanistan - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

200 French troops leave Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Two hundred French troops said goodbye to the war on Wednesday as part of France's accelerated pullout from Afghanistan.

In January, French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced a faster-track exit for France, breaking from previous plans to go along with to the U.S.-led coalition's plan to withdraw combat forces by the end of 2014.

Sarkozy said France would speed up its withdrawal timetable, pulling out 1,000 of its 3,600 soldiers by the end of the year. The previous target was 600.

France plans to withdraw all combat forces by the end of 2013.

The French troops waiting to board their flight out of Afghanistan said they were elated to leave and thought the Afghan forces they left behind were ready to fight by themselves.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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