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Regimental sergeant major Robert Mansel, of the 1st Queen’s Dragoon Guards, said: ‘It is a bit of a strange feeling being some of the last here.
Why has £20billion been spent on this conflict while austerity means cuts at home? Peace accords are signed in 1988 and the final Red Army troops leave Afghanistan the following year, but civil war continues as the various mujahideen groups turn on each other.
Symbolic: Troops lowering the Union flag today at Camp Bastion, where they marked the end of combat operations in Afghanistan after 13 years.
The war has cost billions of pounds and claimed the lives of 453 men and women since it began in 2001 Last chapter?
Other cities swiftly fall and Hamid Karzai is sworn in as head of an interim government before Christmas. President makes his infamous 'Mission Accomplished' declaration on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln.
Bin Laden escapes to a cave complex and later crosses the border to Pakistan. In the years that follow, thousands more troops from all nationalities will die in the guerilla-style warfare that followed.