KABUL  - An Afghan soldier has been sentenced to death for killing five French soldiers in a “green-on-blue” attack in Kapisa province in January, the defence ministry said Tuesday. The incident, in which the soldier turned his gun on his French colleagues, prompted France to speed up its planned withdrawal of troops from Nato operations in Afghanistan. The man, Abdul Sabor, was sentenced to death by hanging in a military court in Pul-i-Chakri prison on Monday, a defence ministry source said. “Yes, I can confirm it. His name is Sabor,” said Mohammad Zahir Azimi, a ministry spokesman.

Four unarmed French soldiers were killed outright and 15 others were wounded as they jogged on their military base on Janauary 20. A fifth French soldier died weeks later from his wounds. The shooting underscored the difficulties facing NATO troops as they work alongside and train Afghan forces ahead of their planned withdrawal from the war-torn country by the end of 20124. The number of so-called green-on-blue attacks — in which Afghan forces turn their weapons against their Western allies — has escalated this year. In the latest incident, three British soldiers were shot dead by a man in an Afghan police uniform in the southern province of Helmand earlier this month.