Skip to main content

Afghan soldier gets death sentence for killing French troops

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 7:27 AM EDT, Tue July 17, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The killing of 4 service members in eastern Kapisa province sparked outrage
  • Officials: The French troops were unarmed because they were conducting normal training
  • France suspended training operations after the killings

(CNN) -- An Afghan military court sentenced a local soldier to death for killing four French service members in January, authorities said Tuesday.

The Afghan soldier killed the troops during a training session at a base in Kapisa province, prompting Nicolas Sarkozy, who was president of France at the time, to suspend training operations and combat help.

The killing of the French troops highlighted a disturbing issue -- the so-called "green on blue" attacks by local security forces against NATO troops.

The French troops were unarmed because they were in their base conducting normal training with their Afghan partners, officials said.

French troops deployed under the NATO-led command had operated in Kapisa province for years. The French military said it handed over control of the province to local forces this month.

French President Francois Hollande, who recently won the election, campaigned for an accelerated withdrawal of combat forces and called for their removal from the field by the end of the year.

After he took office in May, he visited French troops in the region and paid tribute to soldiers killed in the line of duty.

He also highlighted his plan to expedite France's withdrawal of its roughly 3,935 troops in Afghanistan, according to NATO's International Security Assistance Force.

"The decision that I made to accelerate the withdrawal of French combat forces from Afghanistan will begin in July. It will be implemented and completed by the end of 2012," Hollande said at the time. "Until then, everything must be done for our troops to meet our obligations with the highest level of security and the utmost vigilance. I take this commitment and I will be the guarantor of the transaction."

The Afghan soldier was sentenced to death by hanging, but can appeal the ruling, said Gen Zahir Azimi, a spokesman for the Afghan defense ministry.

Journalist Ruhullah Khapalwak contributed to this report

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Afghanistan
updated 1:32 PM EDT, Sat June 14, 2014
Afghans have finished casting their ballots to pick a president in a runoff election between former Cabinet ministers.
updated 8:51 AM EDT, Mon June 9, 2014
Singer and ex-judge on The Voice of Afghanistan advocates women's rights -- despite death threats for not wearing a headscarf.
updated 5:31 PM EDT, Wed June 11, 2014
The improvement in the quality of life for Afghan women is unmistakable, say a bipartisan coalition of women in Congress.
updated 6:33 AM EDT, Thu May 29, 2014
President Barack Obama outlined a foreign policy vision of "might doing right."
updated 1:58 AM EDT, Wed April 9, 2014
She was to be married off to pay for her father's debt -- here's her story.
updated 3:23 PM EDT, Mon April 7, 2014
One music producer hopes to get out Afghanistan's youth vote with a song competition. CNN's Sherisse Pham reports.
updated 8:11 AM EDT, Mon April 7, 2014
Despite threats from the Taliban, Afghans turned out in large numbers to cast their vote for a new president and future.
updated 1:27 AM EDT, Wed April 9, 2014
It was not too long ago -- in 2001, prior to the U.S. invasion -- that Afghanistan's women were all but entirely marginalized.
updated 8:23 PM EDT, Sun April 6, 2014
As Afghan voters prepare to go to the polls in a hugely important election, CNN looks at the main presidential candidates.
updated 8:37 AM EDT, Wed April 2, 2014
Despite the looming Taliban presence, Afghanistan could see its first democratic transfer of power, Peter Bergen writes.
updated 2:03 AM EDT, Fri April 4, 2014
As the U.S. prepares to withdraw troops, an Afghan Army commander says America's support remains critical.
updated 5:24 AM EDT, Fri May 24, 2013
With U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan, CNN's Anna Coren reports on a Taliban firefight lasting more than 90 minutes.
updated 10:54 AM EDT, Mon April 1, 2013
Mallika Kapur has the story of a young Afghan graffiti artist who, despite Taliban threats, pushes for free expression.
updated 7:35 AM EST, Mon February 11, 2013
Author William Dalrymple's new book "Return of a King" looks at the history of foreign-led wars in Afghanistan.
CNN.com's 'Home and Away' initiative honors the lives of U.S. and coalition troops who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan.
ADVERTISEMENT