(PARIS) -- Following an attack that left four French soldiers dead, France's leader announced Sunday that his government would begin withdrawing its military forces from Afghanistan beginning in July.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for last Saturday's suicide bombing in the Nijrab district of Kapisa province that also wounded four troops.
French President Francois Hollande had said upon his recent election that his country would start the gradual drawdown of 3,500 soldiers from Afghanistan so that most would be home by the end of 2012.
This plan is two years ahead of the rest of NATO and the U.S., which will pull the rest of the coalition troops out of Afghanistan in 2014.
Hollande insisted that the deadly bombing in eastern Afghanistan did not influence the pullout beginning next month, saying, "What happened does not change anything, it neither accelerates nor delays withdrawal plans."
In fact, Hollande said he was not listening to calls by the war's critics to speed up the withdrawal, claiming it was impractical to do so.
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