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Monday, June 11, 2012

Growing violence in Afghanistan

A suicide bomber dressed in a burqa detonated explosives he was carrying near a French patrol in Afghanistan Saturday, killing four soldiers and wounding five in an escalation of the offensive of the Taliban. The attack, one of the deadliest against the French contingent in months, occurred in the mountainous province of Kapisa, east of the country, an area patrolled mainly by a French force under the command of NATO. "It was an unfortunate incident. There was a patrol of coalition troops in a small bazaar and were attacked by a suicide bomber wearing a burqa, "the spokesman told Reuters the Afghan Interior Ministry, Sediq Sediqqi. French President Francois Hollande reaffirmed its plan to withdraw all combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2012, long before its NATO allies, while offering his condolences to the families of the victims. "This operation will start in July and end in late 2012" said Hollande, who took office in mid-May, while visiting his constituency 500 kilometers south of Paris on the eve of a parliamentary election. Hollande, who was informed of the death of the soldiers while traveling by car to the town of Tulle where will vote, said the defense minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, and the army chief Edouard Guillaud, planned to be in Afghanistan on Sunday. Speaking on television shortly before leaving for Afghanistan, Le Drian said the soldiers who lost their lives along with an Afghan interpreter were traveling to a meeting with village leaders to discuss development projects when the attacker detonated the explosives. to the incident on Saturday, 83 French soldiers were killed in Afghanistan since the start of the US-led intervention in 2001, the fourth largest number of military deaths suffered by a country, after the United States, Britain and Canada. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in the district Nijrab of the province and said in an email that a suicide bomber had beaten foreign troops. Violence has risen across Afghanistan in recent weeks and the Taliban have vowed to attack the Western-backed Afghan government and the forces of security, as well as the 130,000 foreign troops in the country, most of which is scheduled to leave by the end of 2014. France plans to withdraw a majority of its approximately 3,400 troops by the end of the year, two years before the agreed timetable by NATO. French troops have suffered a series of attacks, including several perpetrated by Afghan soldiers have turned against their former allies, which has led to lawsuits in France that his troops are brought back home in advance.France's decision has raised concerns that other members of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF, for its acronym in English), led by NATO, will follow suit and accelerate their withdrawal plans, delivering prematurely maintaining security to Afghan forces inexperienced.

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