PARIS – France has suspended its military operations in Afghanistan and may withdraw its force from that country after an Afghan soldier shot dead four French troops and wounded several others, Voice of America said.
The French government has described Friday’s attack against the soldiers as an assassination. French officials say an Afghan soldier killed the four troops during a training exercise at a base jointly operated by French and Afghan forces in the eastern province of Kapisa. Several other soldiers were wounded. This is the second time in a month that Afghan soldiers have killed French troops. The assault brought to 82 the number of French soldiers killed during the decade they have operated under the NATO mission in Afghanistan.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced he was suspending all French military operations in the country and dispatching his defense minister and other top officials to check out the situation there. Sarkozy said if security measures were not met for French soldiers and for recruiting Afghan soldiers, France may withdraw all of its roughly 4,000 forces from the country. He said French troops were in Afghanistan to fight against terrorism and the Taliban, not to be shot at by allies.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen paid his respects to the French soldiers.