Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

"Why Are So Many Children Dying in Gaza?"

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Seleka calls for partition

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria: One Hundred Days and Counting (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria: One Hundred Days and Counting

Read more

FOCUS

Can Chancellor Merkel's winning streak last?

Read more

FOCUS

Hunger in a fertile land...

Read more

ENCORE!

High-tech acting king Andy Serkis on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Read more

REPORTERS

Hong Kong in rebellion against the 'motherland'

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Dalia Grybauskaite, President of the Republic of Lithuania

Read more

  • Israel faces heightened diplomatic pressure as Gaza bloodshed deepens

    Read more

  • In pictures: Thousands march for Gaza peace in Paris

    Read more

  • Bomb attacks leave scores dead in north Nigeria

    Read more

  • Remains of Flight MH17 victims arrive in the Netherlands

    Read more

  • Ryanair ordered to pay back €9.6m in illegal state aid to France

    Read more

  • Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down over rebel-held territory

    Read more

  • Gaza protests: ‘France imported the Mideast conflict a long time ago’

    Read more

  • Video: Fear, death and mourning in Gaza’s Khan Younis

    Read more

  • TransAsia Airways Taiwan crash leaves dozens dead

    Read more

  • Poland’s Rafal Majka wins 17th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Young riders raise French hopes for Tour de France

    Read more

  • Defying UK, France to proceed with warships sale to Russia

    Read more

  • US courts issue conflicting reports on Obamacare

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

France

Sarkozy honours French troops shot in Afghanistan

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-01-25

French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday honoured the four French troops who were shot dead last week by a man wearing an Afghan army uniform. Their deaths have fuelled speculation that France may seek to accelerate its Afghan withdrawal.

AP - President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday honored four French troops shot dead by an Afghan man, a killing that rattled France’s commitment to a NATO-led war in Afghanistan unpopular among many French.

In a somber ceremony in the southeastern town of Varces, the French leader said the troops gunned down were victims of a Taliban rebel who had infiltrated a military base stationed jointly by French and Afghan forces.

“Four of our soldiers were shot in Afghanistan, victims of the most cowardly of crimes,” he said in remarks aired on French TV. “While unarmed, they were slaughtered by a Taliban wearing the uniform of an ally’s army.”

He noted the French troops were there to train Afghan soldiers.

“We will not allow ourselves to be impressed by this barbarity ... that must strengthen us even more in our determination to work for peace,” he added.

After Friday’s shootings, Sarkozy ordered a halt to French training programs for the Afghan military and threatened to withdraw French forces earlier than first planned.

But top French officials in recent days have sought to dispel concerns abroad about a possible crack in the NATO-led alliance in Afghanistan and a hasty exit by France.

Prime Minister Francois Fillon told parliament Tuesday that France is keeping to plans to withdraw 600 troops this year -- in line with a previous schedule pegged in part to a gradual U.S.-led withdrawal by 2014.

France currently has about 3,600 troops in Afghanistan. France, the fourth-largest national contingent in the NATO-led force, has lost 92 troops since 2001. The total alliance death toll is nearly 2,560 -- mostly Americans.

French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet, who traveled to Afghanistan right after the killings, is preparing a report for Sarkozy on what happened before the French leader specifies any new plans for the drawdown.

Sarkozy, who is facing a possible re-election bid this spring, is expected to publicize his decision on Friday after hosting Afghan President Hamid Karzai for a long-scheduled meeting in Paris.
 

Date created : 2012-01-25

  • AFGHANISTAN

    France suspends Afghan mission after attack on troops

    Read more

  • AFGHANISTAN

    French tolerance dwindles over Afghan 'insider threat'

    Read more

  • AFGHANISTAN

    Afghan soldier fatally shoots four French NATO troops

    Read more

COMMENT(S)