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British forces will stay in Afghanistan to 2016 due to Afghan forces struggling to provide complete security in the wake of increasing Taliban offensives.

There are currently 450 British soldiers in Afghanistan in non-combat roles who were set to return by the end of 2015. They are currently training personnel at the Afghan National Army Officer Academy, working with Afghan security ministries and supporting NATO operations in Kabul.

The move follows a US announcement earlier this month to extend its military presence in the country.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon told Parliament:

“We have now concluded that we should maintain the scale of the UK’s current military mission in the country in 2016, to help build a secure and stable Afghanistan. The scope and role of the UK mission remain unchanged.”

Mr Fallon also said he wished to record his “immense gratitude and admiration for all of our brave men and women who have served, or are currently serving, in Afghanistan”.

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