Germans ditch Afghan base after Koran burning
Escalating unrest following the burning of the Koran by US soldiers has forced Germany to give up one of its Afghanistan bases earlier than planned.
After 300 protesters massed outside the German Taloqan base in northern Afghanistan, the commander withdrew the 50 troops to the larger Kunduz base camp 70 kilometres away, abandoning the camp around a month ahead of schedule.
A Bundeswehr spokesman said the troops had taken all military vehicles with them, but it remained unclear whether the soldiers would return at a later date to complete the clear-out. The relatively small camp is said to be difficult to secure, since it is in the middle of the town of Taloqan, capital of the Takhar province, with a population of 200,000.
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- Germany pulls troops early from Afghan outpost (seattletimes.nwsource.com)