US Hands over District to Afghan Forces

Karzai demanded troops leave


U.S. special operations forces handed over their base in a strategic district of eastern Afghanistan to local Afghan special forces on Saturday, a senior US commander said.

The withdrawal satisfies a demand by Afghan President Hamid Karzai that American forces leave the area after allegations that the Americans' Afghan counterparts committed human rights abuses there on US orders.

The transfer of authority ends a particularly rocky episode in the strained relations between the Washington and Karzai. He had insisted that US forces leave Nirkh district in Wardak province over the alleged torture, kidnapping and summary execution of militant suspects there charges American officials firmly denied.