Afghanistan Shooting Leaves France Questioning Long-Term War Involvement [PHOTOS]

Pictures of French Involvement in the War in Afghanistan Since 2001

on January 20 2012 3:39 PM
  • French Training
    A member of the Afghan National Army receives advice from a French instructor (L) Dec. 16, 2002 during training at Kabul's military academy. REUTERS/Radu Sigheti
  • French Army Chief Aurelien Halgue of the 8th Artillery Regiment
    French army Chief Sergeant Aurelien Halgue of the 8th Artillery Regiment takes part in a joint patrol with U.S. and Afghan troops in a village in Kharuti, in the mountains of Wardak Province in Afghanistan in 2009. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
  • French Military Hospital
    A French military ophthalmologist examines Afghan civilians at a French military hospital in Kabul on Apr. 21, 2009. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen
  • French Soldiers
    French soldiers patrol the mountains of the valley of Kapica during a visit by French Prime Minister Francois Fillon in Tagab, in the valley of Kapisa, Feb. 11, 2010. Fillon is in Afghanistan on a visit to meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the French soldiers fighting Taliban. REUTERS/POOL New
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A rogue Afghan soldier opened fire on French troops at a base shared by French and Afghan forces in Afghanistan, killing four French soldiers and wounding others.

In response to the Afghanistan shooting, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has called into question France's long-term involvement in the war and has halted all training operations in Afghanistan.

The French army is alongside its allies but we cannot accept that a single one of our soldiers be wounded or killed by our allies, it's unacceptable, Sarkozy said from Paris.

From now on, all the operations of training and combat help by the French army are suspended, he added.

The Afghanistan shooting marked one of the bloodiest days of the war for the French, who have lost a total of 81 soldiers in the conflict since 2001. France currently deploys nearly 4,000 ISAF soldiers in the region.

This is not the first time, however, that French soldiers have been killed by an Afghan soldier. On Dec. 29, two French militaries were gunned down by a rogue Afghan soldier in the Kapisa province, north east of Kabul.

The increased hostility and violence from Afghan forces has caused Sarkozy to pose the possibility of an early withdrawal from the country.

The French army is in Afghanistan at the service of the Afghans against terrorism and against the Taliban. The French army is not in Afghanistan so that Afghan soldiers can shoot at them, he said.

The shooting follows a string of casualties in the past few days. A NATO helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan late Thursday took the lives of six members of the international military force. Seven civilians were also targeted in a suicide bomber attack Thursday outside a crowded gate at Kandahar Air Field.

Take a look at these pictures of French involvement in the war in Afghanistan since 2001. 

Related Article: NATO Helicopter Crash in Afghanistan Kills 6 in Deadliest Incident Since August

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