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News - Afghanistan

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Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) will reach their target of 350,000 troops by the end of 2014, Ministry of Defence officials said Thursday, seeking to allay fears that the security force will be insufficient as Nato withdraws.

Defence officials said that recruitment and training process of Afghan army forces is continuing throughout winter to be ready to take over security responsibility from foreign forces in the year ahead.

They said the ANSF is on track to reach 352,000 at the end of 2014.

According to Nato, around 84 percent of anti-insurgent operations are led by Afghan security forces.

But the increased responsibility has hit hard - over 1,000 Afghan soldiers have been killed in fighting against insurgency in the past year.

"It is usual, fighting has casualties," Afghan army trainer Abdul Hai Ahmadi told TOLOnews. "We do not have a problem. We are proud."

" I come to serve the country where I was born," an Afghan soldier told TOLOnews.

In recent reports from the New York Times and AFP, Afghan officials have said that as many as 30 percent of the Afghan army deserts each year.

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