KABUL, March 16 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of Afghan National Army ( ANA) commandos were involved in a one-day military exercise in the capital of Kabul on Saturday, as Afghan troops take the lead of nearly 80 percent of combat operations in the war-torn country.
Addressing the exercise, Afghan Defense Minister General Bismillah Khan Muhammadi said the ANA troops are fully capable of protecting the country after the withdrawal of foreign combat troops by the end of 2014.
Officials with the ministry told reporters that the drill was aimed at testing the preparedness of the forces to meet the challenges in various situation.
The high-profile exercise included search-and-rescue and ground operation backed by military helicopters.
The Afghan security force will take over full security responsibilities from NATO-led coalition force by the end of 2014.
Starting this spring, U.S. troops will switch to a support role -- training, advising and assisting Afghan force, several months earlier than the mid-2013 deadline agreed at a NATO summit in Chicago last year.
Currently, there are about 100,000-strong foreign troops in Afghanistan to curb the Taliban-led insurgency entering its 12th year.