Helmand: British troops in Afghanistan’s volatile Helmand province are handing control of the city of Lashkar Gah to Afghan security forces. Nato has already handed over the relatively peaceful province of Bamiyan and the eastern town of Mehter Lam.But media reports said that maintaining stability in Lashkar Gah will be the sternest test yet for local forces.
The handover is seen as a critical step in a transition of power before foreign troops end combat operations in 2014.
The reports says it marks the beginning of the end for British control of the area, and that a genuine transfer of responsibility for security is taking place.
But British forces are only transferring responsibility for central Lashkar Gah, our correspondent says. They are still looking after certain parts of the city and will be on hand to assist Afghan security forces.
A lot of Afghan people are sceptical of whether their government is ready to take responsibility, he adds.
There is some confidence in the army and police but around 20% of police officers are “ghosts” – there on paper but with money going into someone else’s pocket, our correspondent says.