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U.S., NATO to Mark End of Mission to Afghanistan

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ISAF's draw-down will leave the Afghan security forces to battle with an intensifying insurgency as the Taliban have taken advantage of the departure of the foreign troops to spread their footprint across the country.

In this picture taken on Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014, Afghanistan's police officers participate in a graduation ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan. As U.S. and international combat troops leave Afghanistan after more than 13 years fighting the Talban, Afghan policemen are dying in record numbers as they perform dangerous tasks usually reserved for the military, according to the head of the European-funded mission to train the police force. (Image source: AP/Rahmat Gul)

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The United States and NATO will formally end 13 years of war in Afghanistan with a ceremony at their military headquarters in Kabul.

The ceremony on Sunday will mark the end of the U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force, which will transition to a supporting role with 13,500 soldiers starting Jan. 1.

In this picture taken on Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014, Afghanistan's police officers participate in a graduation ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan. As U.S. and international combat troops leave Afghanistan after more than 13 years fighting the Talban, Afghan policemen are dying in record numbers as they perform dangerous tasks usually reserved for the military, according to the head of the European-funded mission to train the police force. (Image source: AP/Rahmat Gul) In this picture taken on Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014, Afghanistan's police officers participate in a graduation ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan. As U.S. and international combat troops leave Afghanistan after more than 13 years fighting the Talban, Afghan policemen are dying in record numbers as they perform dangerous tasks usually reserved for the military, according to the head of the European-funded mission to train the police force. (Image source: AP/Rahmat Gul)

The mission ends with 2,224 American soldiers killed, of a total tally of some 3,500 foreign troop deaths. The mission peaked at 140,000 troops in 2010.

ISAF's draw-down will leave the Afghan security forces to battle with an intensifying insurgency as the Taliban have taken advantage of the departure of the foreign troops to spread their footprint across the country.

The United Nations says civilian casualties will hit 10,000 for the year, mostly caused by the Taliban.

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