4 FRENCH TROOPS KILLED BY ROGUE AFGHAN SOLDIER
Four French troops have been killed in northern Afghanistan after a srogue oldier from the Afghan National Army opened fire, local officials said on Thursday 01/19/2012.
Sixteen more members of the French armed forces were injured in the incident in Kapisa province (see – Kapisa 12.30.09). official said that an Afghan non-commissioned officer got into a “verbal clash” and opened fire (see also – Panjshir 07.09.11).
President Nicolas Sarkozy said France was suspending its training programmes in Afghanistan following the attack. He was sending his defence minister, Gerard Longuet, to the country “immediately,” he said. Mr Sarkozy said that the question of an early French withdrawal from Afghanistan would arise, if security conditions were not re-established.
Thursday’s incident, in the Tagab district, took place at 08:00 local time (03:30GMT), according to French media reports. It brings to 82 the total number of French troops killed in Afghanistan since 2001 (see also – Kabul 08.19.08).
The French newspaper Le Figaro said the attack could mark “a turning point” in French involvement in the country.
An Afghan official tsiad “This is a tragic incident, a sad and tragic day for us and for Nato.” The Afghan soldier was arrested by the French, he said.NATO-ISAF confirmed in a statement that four of its troops had been killed, and that a suspect had been apprehended, but gave no further details. Incidents of Nato soldiers being shot by their Afghan colleagues have increased in recent months.
President Sarkozy announced in July that 1,000 troops would be withdrawn from the country by the end of 2012, ahead of full Nato withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014 (see – Petraeus W Plan).
* In a separate development, a NATO helicopter has crashed in southern Afghanistan killing six troops. The nationalities of those killed has not been disclosed, but they are believed to be American. The Taliban have claimed responsibility for that incident, but a spokesman for NATO-ISAF said there was no enemy activity in the area at the time.
* In another separate attack, also on Thursday 01/19/2012, At least seven civilians have died in a suicide attack at Kandahar airbase used by NATO in the southern Afghan officials say. The attacker, driving a car, detonated explosives close to a gate at the perimeter of the airport.
* A day earlier, on Wednesday 01/18/2011, a roadside bomb killed a local intelligence official, chief Wali Mohammad and at least two others in Nad-e-Ali district in Helmand province. Another 11 people were killed by a suicide bomber on a motorcycle in a bazaar in nearby Kajaki district.
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