Jan 20 - An Afghan army soldier kills four French soldiers and wounds 17 others in eastern Afghanistan, provoking the shutdown of French military operations in the country. Lily Grimes reports.
France has announced it's suspending military operations in Afghanistan after four French soldiers were killed in the east of the country. An Afghan security source said four were killed and 17 wounded in an attack by an Afghan soldier in the Taghab valley. The shootings are the latest in which western soldiers have been killed by members of the Afghan security forces. The incident further undermines trust between Afghan and western troops in the run up to the withdrawal of foreign combatants in 2014. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT NICOLAS SARKOZY, SAYING: "We are the Afghan people's friends, and we are the Afghan people's allies, but I can't accept that Afghan soldiers could fire on French soldiers. If the security conditions are not clearly established, then the question of an anticipated withdrawal of the French army will be raised." More than 2,500 foreign troops have died in Afghanistan since the NATO-led war began in 2001, and the latest killings take the French toll to 82. Lily Grimes, Reuters