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KABUL, December 28 (TCA) — Australian troops have begun their withdrawal from Afghanistan and millions of dollars worth of equipment, including heavily armed ASLAV fighting vehicles, is already on its way home, The Australian reported.

According to the Australian Defense Force commander, Michael Crane, the bulk of country’s 1550 army, navy and air force personnel in Afghanistan was preparing to leave over the coming year and some had gone already.

“We will be focused less on the Afghans and focus more on moving our people and stuff” at some stage next year, Crane said.

Over the past months, the Australian government has been under increasing public pressure to pull out its forces amid the rising violence against foreign forces in Afghanistan, Khaama Press reported.

Australia has about 1,500 soldiers in the country. Since the beginning of the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, at least 39 Australian soldiers have been killed and some 250 others injured.

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