France halts military training in Afghanistan

Paris: France is putting on hold combat support operations and training programmes for Afghan troops after an Afghan soldier killed four French servicemen, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said.

He also warned France will withdraw its 4,000-strong force from Afghanistan well before 2014.

"If the security conditions for our soldiers, as well as the recruiting procedure for Afghans in the Afghan army are not clarified and do not become safe, then France will make all the necessary conclusions," Sarkozy said Friday.

"If security conditions are not ensured the question of an early withdrawal of the French army will be brought up," the president said.

The French army is in Afghanistan to help the Afghans fight against terrorism, against the Taliban, "not to be shot by Afghan soldiers", Sarkozy said.

France has lost a total of 82 soldiers in the Afghan campaign.

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