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France to pull government staff from Afghanistan

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Reuters/Parwiz

France announced on Sunday that it was withdrawing its staff from Afghan government institutions, a day after two US members of Nato were shot dead in Kabul’s interior ministry. Anti-US protests continued for a sixth day over Koran burning that took place at a US-run military base last week.


France’s foreign ministry claimed that the removal stemmed from security concerns and was temporary. It said staff would return when “conditions permitted.”

Germany said Sunday that it would follow suit, after the Risk Management Office concluded that staff needed to be withdrawn.

On Saturday, Nato and Britain pulled their staff from Afghan government offices.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the shooting, saying it was a revenge attack for the Koran burning.

An Afghan employee of the interior ministry allegedly shot two US colleagues after a dispute over the Koran incident.

US President Barack Obama formally apologised to Afghan President Hamid Karzai for the soldiers' behaviour.

Last Tuesday, Korans and other religious materials were thrown into a fire pit used to burn garbage at Bagram Air Field, a U.S. base north of Kabul.