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South Korea to pull out troops from Afghanistan

Seoul, Nov 5 (Xinhua) The South Korean defence ministry said Monday that it will complete the withdrawal of all the 210 South Korean troops in Afghanistan by mid-December.

“The soldiers will be withdrawn before the Dec 19 presidential election,” officials of the ministry told South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency.

The South Korean government pledged to pull out all its troops from the country earlier in return for the release of 23 South Koreans kidnapped by Taliban militants in July.

South Korea deploys about 60 medics and 150 engineers in Afghanistan.

Media reports said South Korea is to complete the withdrawal of its troops Dec 14.

Instead of the troops, Seoul will send 20 civilians and government officials to Afghanistan as part of a regional reconstruction team, the reports said.