France suspends all Afghanistan training operations over troop killings


Angelique Chrisafis
Guardian

January 20, 2012

France is suspending military training operations in Afghanistan and considering whether to withdraw its entire force early after four French soldiers were killed by an Afghan soldier in the Taghab valley of eastern Kapisa province.

The shootings on Friday were the latest of several in which western soldiers have been killed by members of the Afghan security forces, undermining trust in the runup to the withdrawal of foreign combat troops in 2014.

The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, announced that France would temporarily stop all its training operations and co-operation with Afghan troops. He immediately dispatched the French defence minister, Gerard Longuet, to Afghanistan to establish whether “conditions were safe” for French soldiers. He said if safe conditions were not clearly established France would consider an early withdrawal of all its troops from Afghanistan.

“If the conditions of security are not clearly restored, then the question of an early withdrawal of the French army would arise,” Sarkozy said.

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