Italy hands over base to Afghans

'Move confirms timeline, ability of local forces' says regiment

Italy hands over base to Afghans

(ANSA) - Rome, September 10 - The Italian military handed over control of the northwestern Afghan district of Murghab to local authorities on Monday. "(The move) respects the timeline agreed to with the government in Kabul and the NATO allies," said the 8th Bersaglieri Regiment, which had been stationed at Columbus Base, in a statement. In its six months in the area, the regiment was attacked repeatedly by insurgents. Troops are being transferred to Camp Arena, the major base in the western Herat province, as they await their return to Italy in the next several days. "The handover of an entire area of the Afghan security forces, along with that of Gulistan in July, is confirmation of (our) compliance with the transition timeline, and of the acquired ability of Afghan forces to plan and conduct autonomous operations to counter the insurgency," said the statement.

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