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Afghan soldier kills French troops

Two members of the French Foreign Legion have been shot dead by a soldier in the Afghan National Army.

The soldier turned his gun on the troops, according to a statement from French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Mr Sarkozy said he learned of the deaths "with great sadness" and offered his condolences to their loved ones.

A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack on the French, identifying the attacker as Mohammed Ibrahim.

He said the attack was carried out at a base in Shamshad, in eastern Kapisa province, about 40 miles north east of Kabul. The attacker was then gunned down by other troops, he said. Nato said it was investigating the incident.

The shooting is the latest in a series of attacks by members of the Afghan security forces against coalition partners that have raised fears of increased Taliban infiltration of the Afghan police and army.

This year has been the most deadly for French forces in Afghanistan since an international operation began there in 2001. The deaths bring to 78 the number of troops France has lost in the conflict.

Meanwhile, a roadside bomb killed 10 police officers and wounded another in a district of south-western Helmand province, which British troops recently turned over to Afghan security control. A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility.

The explosion destroyed a police pick-up truck as it drove through Zarghun Kalay village in Helmand's Nad Ali district. Nad Ali was one of the districts in Helmand that last month switched from Nato to Afghan security control.

The handover was the second step in a transition that President Hamid Karzai hopes will leave Afghan forces in control of the entire country by the end of 2014, when the US-led coalition's combat mission is scheduled to end.


From Belfast Telegraph