Afghan soldier sentenced to death for killing French troops | News | DW | 17.07.2012
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Afghan soldier sentenced to death for killing French troops

An Afghan court has handed down the death penalty to an Afghan soldier who killed five French troops during a training operation in January. His attack prompted France to withdraw its contingent early.

A spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Defense, Zahir Azimi, said on Tuesday that a military court in Kabul had ordered the soldier, Abdul Sabor, to be hanged.

Sabor shot dead five French soldiers on January 20 in the Tagab district of Kapisa province, during a joint training session. The French soldiers were unarmed as they were jogging on their military base. Four of them were killed outright and 15 others were wounded. A fifth French soldier died weeks later from his wounds.

The French casualties prompted France's new President Francois Hollande to withdraw combat forces from Afghanistan earlier than planned, at the end of this year. The US-led Isaf force as a whole will not end its combat mission until the end of 2014.

France is the fifth largest contributor to NATO's Isaf, providing around 3,300 of the 130,000 troops.

More 'green-on-blue attacks'

There has been a steep rise in the number of so-called green-on-blue attacks - when Afghan forces turn their weapons against Western allies. Earlier this month, three British soldiers were shot dead by a man in an Afghan police uniform in the southern province of Helmand.

Capital punishment is allowed under the Afghan constitution, but President Hamid Karzai has signed very few death warrants, with many of those sentenced remaining in prison.

The latest known execution was of two men in June 2011 for a suicide attack on a bank in Jalalabad, in which 38 people were killed.

ng/msh (AFP, AP)