KABUL (AFP) - Afghan forces will take over security from Nato this summer in the capital of violence-wracked Helmand province and several other areas, President Hamid Karzai said Tuesday. The move, 10 years after the US-led invasion that ousted the Taliban regime in the wake of the September 11 attacks in 2001, is the first step towards the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. Karzai said the Afghan people wanted to take charge of their own security, but he admitted that would not be an easy task for a country wracked by decades of war and still battling a brutal Taliban insurgency. Karzais announcement that Afghan forces will take on three provinces and four cities comes after battle-weary countries contributing to the Nato-led force agreed last year to begin putting the field of combat under his control. Afghanistan does not want others to be responsible for its security and defence, Karzai told senior army and police officers, kick-starting the transition under a timetable laid down by US President Barack Obama and allies. This year is a milestone in the process of government-building and peace. This is the year of taking on more responsibility, he added, in a speech delivered on the second day of the Afghan new year. But with a major Taliban insurgency still raging, doubts remain over the readiness of the Afghan security forces, with military leaders complaining of a lack of resources and some analysts citing corruption and low retention rates. Most of the provinces and cities to be placed under Afghan security control well away from the fiercest fighting in the south, with the Helmand capital Lashkar Gah the only part of Afghanistan on the list. Helmand province is at the heart of the insurgency that has blighted Afghanistan, although military chiefs say security there has improved since the United States deployed an extra 30,000 troops in Afghanistan last year. The bulk of the 9,500 British troops serving in Afghanistan are in Helmand, although Britain last year handed control of the worst-hit Sangin area to US forces after suffering heavy casualties there. Two of the other cities, Herat and Mazar-i-Sharif, are already relatively peaceful, as are Bamiyan province and the Panjshir.