Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi said it would be best for international troops to leave Afghanistan soon, after a bomb blast in Kabul killed six of his country's soldiers.
Mr Berlusconi insisted yesterday there was no timetable for withdrawal, and said any decision would be made together with Italy's allies.
The attack, which made it Italy's deadliest day yet in the conflict, also wounded another four troops.
"We are all convinced it's best for everybody to get out soon," Mr Berlusconi said. But he quickly added that Italy is "dealing with an international problem. It's not a problem that a country that's present (in Afghanistan) can take on by itself."
Mr Berlusconi said Italy had already planned on bringing home some 400-500 soldiers, referring to extra troops who had beefed up Italy's contingent for the recent Afghan elections.
"We're obviously anxious to bring our boys home as soon as possible," he said.
Italy has about 2,800 soldiers in Afghanistan. Yesterday's victims, part of a contingent deployed in Kabul, bring to 20 the number of Italian troops who have died in Afghanistan.
Comments from the conservative premier and some of his allies in government appeared to show some political confusion over what effect the attack will have on Italy's commitment to the Afghanistan military effort.
Italy's defence minister Ignazio La Russa said early in the day that the "cowardly" attack in the Afghan capital would not affect Italy's commitment. But later he indicated the role of Italy's mission would be reviewed.
Shortly after the attack, Mr La Russa said a suicide bomber rammed a car packed with explosives into two military vehicles. He said the lives of the four injured soldiers did not appear to be in immediate danger.
Pope Benedict XVI was praying for the victims and expressed his closeness to their relatives, said Vatican spokesman the Reverend Federico Lombardi.