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Continued Tensions over Afghan Security Pact

Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier stands guard in a military vehicle in Narai military camp in Ghazi Abad district which Taliban insurgents attacked on Sunday, Feb. 23, killing 21 soldiers, in Kunar province. AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)

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(AURN/AP) -- President Barack Obama is ordering the Pentagon to accelerate planning for a full U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by the end of this year.

The White House has become increasingly frustrated with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who has refused to sign a security pact, the White House says is crucial to keeping a U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan past the end of this year.

Obama spoke Tuesday with Karzai in their first direct discussions since last June.

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