France withdrawing staff from Afghan institutions: ministry

26th February 2012, Comments 0 comments

The French embassy in Kabul is temporarily withdrawing all French civilian mentors and advisors from Afghan government institutions, the foreign ministry said Sunday.

The withdrawal for "security reasons" comes after two US members of NATO forces in Kabul were shot dead at the Afghan interior ministry on Saturday, as anti-US protests raged over the burning of Korans at a US-run military base.

The French foreign ministry said in a statement that the measure would be rescinded as soon as "conditions permitted".

NATO and Britain said Saturday they were pulling staff out of Afghan government institutions after the killing of the US advisers.

Taliban insurgents have claimed responsibility for the shooting, saying it was in revenge for the Koran burning -- an incident that forced US President Barack Obama to apologise to the Afghan people.

NATO, which has a 130,000-strong US-led force fighting an insurgency in Afghanistan, has advisors throughout the Afghan government but commanding officer General John Allen ordered them all withdrawn after the shooting.

© 2012 AFP

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