Canada packing up mission in Afghanistan

MGen Dean Milner, CCTM-A, NCSE Commander (left) is greeted by an ANA member while visiting the...

MGen Dean Milner, CCTM-A, NCSE Commander (left) is greeted by an ANA member while visiting the Canadian Engineering Kandak validation exercise at KMTC, Kabul on August 26, 2013. (MCpl Frieda Van Putten)

Daniel Proussalidis, National Bureau

, Last Updated: 8:04 AM ET

OTTAWA - Canada's top soldier in Afghanistan is getting ready to pack things up and end the Canadian military presence in the battle-scarred country.

Maj.-Gen. Dean Milner says when Canadians lower the flag next week and pack up their gear, they'll leave behind an Afghanistan that's "absolutely, completely different" than when Canadian soldiers first arrived in 2001.

"Canadians significantly contributed to the security that's now here in the country," Milner said Friday in a phone interview from the Afghan capital, Kabul. "We've got children back in school - close to eight million children in school."

Milner says there are less than 100 Canadian military personnel in Afghanistan still training Afghan forces to fight the Taliban.

At the height of combat, Canada had more than 2,000 troops in Afghanistan, along with tanks, artillery, helicopters and drones.

Canada left the front lines of battle in 2011, and now it's the Afghans who handle security.


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