‘French troops killed over US abuse video'
KABUL AN Afghan soldier who shot dead four French troops has said he did it because of a recent video showing US Marines urinating on the dead bodies of Taliban insurgents, security sources told.
The attack on the soldiers, who were unarmed, came on Friday at a base in eastern Afghanistan and left 15 other French troops wounded, eight of them seriously.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy reacted angrily, threatening to pull his forces out of Afghanistan ahead of the 2014 deadline for all USled coalition combat troops, and dispatched Defence Minister Gerard Longuet to Kabul.
That started a round of claim and counter claim over who was responsible for the attack, with Longuet saying he was told the killer was a Taliban infiltrator in the ranks of the Afghan army.
The Taliban, usually quick to claim coalition deaths, said they were still investigating and suggested some of the many attacks by Afghan soldiers on their foreign counterparts were prompted by anger towards the “invading enemy”.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai, in a statement after a meeting with Longuet, failed to echo his accusation against the Taliban and also played down the idea of Afghan resentment of foreign troops.
“The attack against French forces by an Afghan army soldier does not represent the anger of Afghan people but it is just an isolated and individual action,” he said.
The story emerging from the interrogation of the soldier arrested for the killings — named as 21-year-old Abdul Mansour — would support Karzai’s interpretation.
“During the initial interrogations by French soldiers, he told them he did it because of the video in which American soldiers were urinating on bodies,” an Afghan army officer told.