Afghan unease over French troop pullout

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Afghan unease over French troop pullout

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Afghans have warned that a hasty French withdrawal from their country could lead to more instability.

President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Friday that all of France’s troops would leave by the end of 2013, one year earlier than an agreed NATO timetable.

Ahmad, a 25-year-old man from Kabul, said Afghanistan needs assistance with maintaining security.

“If the international community wants peace and stability in the region they have to accept to help Afghanistan. Without that help, Afghanistan cannot consider itself stable and peaceful,” he said.

Daoud Sultanzoy, a former Afghan member of parliament said France should not pull out too early and “wish for peace and stability.”

NATO has been slowly handing over security in parts of the country to Afghan forces over the past few months.

But other areas are more volatile where attacks by Taliban insurgents remain common.

On Thursday, a suicide bomber killed four Afghan civilians in Lashkar Gah, the capital of the southern Helmand province.