Sarkozy threatens early withdrawal from Afghanistan
An early withdrawal of French troops from Afghanistan looks likely after four soldiers were shot dead.
President Nicolas Sarkozy has announced the suspension of all joint operations with the Afghan army following the incident, and has sent officials to the country to investigate.
The soldiers were killed by a man dressed in Afghan army uniform, a force with which western troops are working, to bring stability to the region. The latest killings bring the French death toll to 82 since the campaign began.
But these are just some of the many deaths caused by the apparent infiltration of the Afghan army by members of the Taliban in recent years.
According to a report into the relationship between the western soldiers and the Afghan security force, 58 westerners have been killed by ANSF members since 2007. The report also details that this trend is worsening, with numbers of western soldiers killed in this manner increasing monthly.
At present, the French presence in Afghanistan amounts to approximately 4000, with many of the soldiers being in charge of training Afghan troops ahead of the pull-out in 2012.
Mr Sarkozy said that if they cannot guarantee the security of French soldiers, he will not rule out an early withdrawal of all troops.
“We are there as friends of the Afghan people. We cannot accept that an Afghan soldier fires on French troops”, he said.