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NATO Takes over in Afghan South: NATO’s International Security Assistance Force took charge of the southern region of Afghanistan on Monday from the US-led coalition forces. NATO has slowly expanded its areas of control since assuming its initial mission in Kabul in 2003. “This is one of the most challenging tasks NATO has every taken on, but it is a critical contribution to international security,” said NATO Secretary General Jaap De Hoop Scheffer. The US and its coalition partners retain responsibility for Afghanistan’s eastern region, known as Regional Command East.