Germany hands over northern base to Afghan forces
The German army Sunday transferred its camp in the northern province of Kunduz to the control of Afghan security forces after a 10-year operation there, dpa reported.
The Bundeswehr plans to have cleared the camp at the latest by the end of the month, but Afghan forces there could still call for back-up from a 300-person German force stationed at Mazar-e-Sharif, the capital of adjacent Balkh province.
Germany's deployment in Afghanistan marked the first time that its ground troops had seen combat since World War II in a mission that German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere described as "a break not only for the Bundeswehr but also for German society.
Kunduz was the place where the Bundeswehr had to learn to fight, he said at a ceremony marking the handover, which he attended with Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.