SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERADanish government officials on Tuesday announced that the last Danish infantry soldier will leave Afghanistan by late summer this year, and not by the end of 2014 as was planned.

The news means that Squad 15, the last Danish infantry squad remaining in Afghanistan, will not be replaced when they ship back to Denmark in August, The Copenhagen Post reported.

Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt (Socialdemokraterne) said Tuesday, “Denmark is one of the countries that have carried the toughest load in Afghanistan, and Danish soldiers have been on the front line since 2002. They have provided an invaluable service for our safety and they have been part of helping the Afghans take care of their own security.”

In the meantime Denmark will leave a small group of its troops in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of its troops in a bid to train Afghan security forces.

This comes as the  original withdraw plan, revealed in January, stated that the last Danish unit wouldn’t be withdrawn until the end of 2014.

Thorning-Schmidt said, “The situation is that the Danish and British forces determined that there shouldn’t be new squads when the current team leaves for home in August. After that we will support only with our tanks.”

Denmark deployed its troops under the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force mission in Afghanistan and around 720 Danish troops were stationed in Afghanistan by 2011 which dropped to 650 in 2012.

At least 43 Danish troops have been killed in Afghanistan since it started its mission in Afghanistan in 2002.

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