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French troops to stay in Afghanistan: FM

French troops to stay in Afghanistan: FM

Jan 25, 2012 - 10:51

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Tuesday France would not withdraw their soldiers from Afghanistaninfo-icon this year in the wake of the death of four of its soldiers.

On Friday, an Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier opened fire on his French counterparts, killing four and wounding 17 others in the Tagab district of central Kapisa province.

Hours after the incident, French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced the suspension of training and joint operations in Afghanistan. He told diplomats in Paris: "We cannot accept that even one of our soldiers be killed or wounded by our allies."

But Juppe told Parliament: "We must not panic and confuse between an orderly withdrawal and a hasty retreat. When I hear of immediate withdrawal, even at the end of 2012, I'm not sure this has been carefully considered and studied."

President Hamid Karzai has offered deep condolences to his French counterpart and families of the victims. He praised the sacrifices of the French soldiers deployed to Afghanistan.

Of the 3,600 French soldiers fighting the rebels under ISAFinfo-icon command in Afghanistan, 82 have been killed since the 2001 ouster of the Talibaninfo-icon regime.

PAN monitor/myn/mud



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