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Germany

KSK troops withdraw from Afghanistan

Troops from Germany's elite KSK commanado unit are set to return home after two years of deployment in Afghanistan, where they have been engaged in the United States-led "Enduring Freedom" operation against remaining Taliban units and al Qaeda forces. The KSK, Germany's equivalent to Britain's SAS and the U.S. Delta Force, had a mandate which runs out on 15 November and can only be extended by Germany's parliament, the Bundestag. In what was the first time German troops have been in combat outside Europe since World War II, the KSK troops were involved in combat operations alongside British and U.S. special forces. Close to 2,000 German soldiers are also part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), which is currently planning an extension of its peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan. Until now, German troops have been stationed in Kabul only, but as many as 450 Bundeswehr soldiers are now set to move to Kundus.