Quran burning: French Afghan withdrawal would concern few staff

Published: February 27, 2012

France has condemned attacks over the Holy Quran desecration that have killed more than 30 people. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS: France’s preparations to withdraw non-military personnel from Afghanistan due to violent protests over the burning of the Holy Quran at a US military base should concern only a couple of dozen people, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Monday.

France has condemned attacks over the Holy Quran desecration that have killed more than 30 people and said on Sunday it was making arrangements to pull out French nationals working as advisers supporting the rebuilding of public institutions.

Originally seen affecting several hundred people, the measures would in fact only concern around two dozen people, the spokesman said. He could not say where in Afghanistan they were located or in what time frame they could be repatriated.

French military would not be affected, and the staff departures could be halted depending on the security situation.

A suicide car bomber killed at least nine people in an attack on a military airport in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, the latest incident since copies of the Holy Quran were burned at a Nato base last week. The Taliban took responsibility for the attack as “revenge” for the Holy Quran burning.

France has 3,600 troops in Afghanistan as part of the 130,000-strong Nato-led force, mainly patrolling Kapisa, a mountainous province near Kabul. They are to shift their focus in March to training and leave the country at the end of 2013.

Reader Comments (2)

  • just wondering
    Feb 28, 2012 - 1:28AM

    And these are the people we are trying to protect and make a democratic society out of? Where is this type of outrage and commitment to the principals and foundations of what the U.S.A. was founded upon? Accidently or purposely, the burning of the Bible, the Flag or even the display of Jesus crucified upside down in a jar of urine and calling it “art” doesn’t cause this type of passionate demonstration. Does America even know what it stands for anymore?
    Where are the people of Christian faith during these times of desperation? It is far past time to stand up and let your voices, our voices be heard! I guess there is some truth in the saying that goes “if you do not stand for something you will fall for anything”. Wake up America, we are falling and at a rapid pace!

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  • Realist
    Feb 28, 2012 - 10:50AM

    @just wondering:

    I doubt anyone from USA reads this website. Won’t it be more useful to post your comment on Fox News website?

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