US pauses Afghanistan deployments, isolates arrivals there

FILE - In this Nov. 30, 2017 file photo, American soldiers wait on the tarmac in Logar province, Afghanistan. The U.S. is pausing movement of troops into Afghanistan and quarantining 1,500 new arrivals to country due to virus. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. military says it is pausing the movement of any new troops into Afghanistan and is quarantining 1,500 troops who recently arrived to avoid any spread of the coronavirus.

Troops already in the country may have their deployments extended so missions can continue.

The announcement came Thursday as the United States reduces its troop presence in Afghanistan as part of the peace deal signed last month between the U.S. and the Taliban.

Army Gen. Scott Miller tweeted the military has started new screening procedures for personnel arriving in the country.

There are more than 12,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. That’s supposed to gradually drop to about 8,600 under the peace deal.

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