The event, French journalist Eric de Lavarène met one of the Taliban assailants who sprang a fatal trap on the men of the French 8th RPIMa August 18 last in Afghanistan. Photos of Taliban Posing in Dead Soldier's Uniform Shock France.
A picture of a Taliban fighter in the uniform of a dead French soldier (see above) drew anger in France yesterday as the army came under new fire over its conduct in an ambush that killed ten paratroopers in Afghanistan last month and then the Taliban were photographed posing with their French trophies from the battle, east of Kabul, on August 18.
These included Famas assault rifles, helmets, body armour, walkie-talkies and a wristwatch that the Taliban asked the magazine to return to the family of the soldier who had owned it.
A Taliban commander identified as Faruki told Match reporters that the insurgents would kill all the French in Afghanistan unless they pulled out of the Nato operation there.
The Taliban are a sub-human race of Islamic terrorists who fit right in with Al-Qaeda and bin-Laden, during the 1980's when the Russians were in Afghanistan, captured Russian soldiers were put into ovens and baked alive. "In late 2001 Taliban soldiers on the backs of the pick-up trucks began machine-gunning the morning crowds in the small village of Dasti Qala. They felled soldiers and pensioners, shopkeepers and packs of schoolchildren. In minutes the pavements were awash with blood. Even the dogs and cats were targeted in the killing spree".... US soldiers and Marines in current Afghanistan are forewarned to be not taken alive... see "Taliban torture and kill French Nato soldiers in Afghanistan", "Four French paratroopers were taken prisoner and are feared to have been tortured to death".
Emotion over the report was sharpened by harrowing new accounts of bungling by French and Nato forces in the bloodiest engagement by French troops for over two decades. "We are sickened," a soldier at the French base at Kabul, said of the photographs. "After killing our mates it's like the Taliban coming and pissing on their coffins," the unnamed private told Europe 1 radio.
Hervé Morin, the Defence Minister, said that Match was advertising for the enemy. "The Taliban are waging a war of communication with this kind of operation. They have understood that public opinion is probably the Achilles’ heel of the international community that is in Afghanistan,” he said.
Joel le Pahun, the father of one of the dead soldiers, called the photographs pitiful. "It hurts a lot to see these murderers parading with the clothes of the kids that they have killed," he said. Eric de Lavarene, the journalist who interviewed the Taliban, denied being used by them. The Taliban account was legitimate news, he said. “No one talks of propaganda when we work embedded with Nato troops, yet information is always very tightly controlled on those occasions,” he said.
The shock of the pictures compounded anxiety over France's involvement in Afghanistan. The ambush, which took place after President Sarkozy committed 700 new troops to the fighting, sharpened public opposition and misgivings in his own centre-right party towards the French engagement. Several parents of dead soldiers have blamed Mr Sarkozy on television for the deaths of their sons. Senior military officers have been publicly critical of the war.
Commanders are expected to be disciplined over errors that led to the deaths of the ten men and and the wounding of 23 others on the mountainside at Uzbeen, 30 miles from Kabul. Le Monde newspaper reported today that a Gendarmerie investigation had found that if took three hours for reinforcements to reach the French troops after they were pinned down.
Commanders are also being criticised for failing to carry out reconnaissance before sending a column into a dangerous area. The lack of helicopter support and other air support was also a handicap. "We were under the ridge and we felt that we had been left alone and that we had been f***ed," one of the survivors told Le Monde. Several of the soldiers died of their wounds after being left untended for hours on the hillside, it said.