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Oct 26, 5:22 AM EDT

Britain ends combat operations at Camp Bastion in Helmand province in Afghanistan

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LONDON (AP) -- Defense officials say Britain has ended combat operations in the Helmand province in Afghanistan.

Officials said Sunday U.K. troops have witnessed the lowering of the Union Jack for the last time at the Camp Bastion complex in Helmand.

Camp Bastion has been the center of U.K. operations in Afghanistan since 2006. The handover of the base to Afghan control ends an important chapter in the 13-year Afghan campaign.

UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said the end of combat operations is being announced "with pride" and that Britain has helped give Afghanistan "the best possible chance of a stable future."

Britain suffered 453 fatalities during the campaign.

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