Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians - Nowhere to Run? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians - Nowhere to Run?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Towards a "Third Intifada"?

Read more

FOCUS

What solutions for California's overcrowded prisons?

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Gaza conflict: Palestinians mark sombre Eid

Read more

WEB NEWS

Celebrities in the Israel-Gaza crossfire

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Israeli strike takes out Gaza power station

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French newspaper apologises for Sarkozy story

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Last-ditch talks aim to avert Argentina default

Read more

  • Deadly strike hits Gaza market despite four-hour 'truce'

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

  • Argentina fails to reach deal with holdout creditors

    Read more

  • US House votes to sue Obama for over-reaching his powers

    Read more

  • Suspect in Jewish Museum attack charged with 'terrorist' murder

    Read more

  • Women should not laugh in public, Turkey's deputy PM says

    Read more

  • Fourth female suicide bomber targets Nigerian city

    Read more

  • US rebounds to 4% growth in second quarter

    Read more

  • Video: Coping with rocket attacks in Israel’s Sderot

    Read more

  • Rats on the rampage at Louvre museum gardens

    Read more

  • France evacuates nationals, closes embassy in Libya

    Read more

  • 'Compelling' signs Kosovo leaders trafficked organs, prosecutor says

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Islamists seize key Benghazi army base as fire rages on

    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)