Jan. 21 - France's defence minister says their troops were ''murdered'' after rogue Afghan soldier kills 4 French troops, as Karzai confirms Taliban talks. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
French defense minister Gerard Longuet arrives in in Kabul Saturday, a day after four French troops were killed by a rogue Afghan soldier. He pays his last respects to the fallen. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH DEFENCE MINISTER GERARD LONGUET SAYING: "This is murder. It is a murder. This is not war," The Afghan Taliban said Saturday they had recruited the Afghan soldier who shot the French soldiers, raising fears that the militant group had managed to deepen its infiltration of the country's struggling security forces. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH DEFENCE MINISTER GERARD LONGUET SAYING: "I hope the person investigating this issue will be given access to all the information and will have access to this murderer in order to understand the motivation and in particular to follow the path of this action: is this the act of one individual? Is this preparation with outside support? These are points we need to clarify very very rapidly," The killings on Friday in the Kapisa province, near the capital Kabul, prompted France to threaten an early pullout from the NATO-led war. It is the latest in a string of such attacks in which Afghan troops turned on their Western allies and mentors. The defense minister's visit comes on the same day that Afghan President Hamid Karzai told parliament that he had been negotiating with the Taliban. (SOUNDBITE) (Pashto) AFGHAN PRESIDENT HAMID KARZAI, SAYING: "In order to reach peace in Afghanistan which is the wish of all Afghans and in order to end the war we agreed for a Taliban office in Qatar." Despite the presence of more than 100,000 foreign troops, violence across Afghanistan remains at its worst levels since the Taliban were toppled by U.S.-backed Afghan forces in late 2001. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters