Afghan Soldier Kills Four French Troops, Sarkozy Halts Training

The Taliban, which the Obama Administration is currently courting, claims responsibility for the attack.

From the Washington Post:

President Nicolas Sarkozy said Friday that France was suspending training operations in Afghanistan after four French soldiers were killed and more than a dozen wounded by a renegade Afghan soldier who opened fire on his trainers.

In a separate incident in southern Afghanistan, six NATO troops were killed in a helicopter crash, and a senior U.S. defense official said all the victims were U.S. Marines, the Associated Press reported.

Sarkozy, addressing foreign ambassadors in a previously scheduled New Year’s ceremony, said the shooting also raises the question of whether France should accelerate the return of all its soldiers engaged in Afghanistan as part of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force. Defense Minister Gerard Longuet was dispatched to Afghanistan, Sarkozy said, to demonstrate support for the 3,600-strong French contingent and assess its future role.

“The French army is standing next to its allies, but we cannot accept that even one of our soldiers be killed or wounded by our allies,” said Sarkozy, according to the TF1 television station. “It is unacceptable. I will not accept it,” he said.

The attack occurred just hours after military officials reported the helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan. NATO said the cause of the crash was under investigation and that initial reports indicated there was no enemy activity in the area at the time of the crash. Taliban officials claimed responsibility for the attack.

The shooting Friday marked the second time in less than a month that French soldiers have been killed by Afghans wearing army uniforms. Two French Foreign Legion troopers were shot and killed Dec. 29 in a mountainous area of Kapisa province, northeast of Kabul. That shooter was immediately gunned down by other French soldiers.

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