10 French NATO troops killed in Afghanistan
The soldiers were killed and 21 injured following a Taliban ambush near the Afghan capital.19 August 2008
PARIS - Ten French NATO troops were killed and 21 injured Monday and Tuesday in battles following a Taliban ambush near the Afghan capital Kabul, President Nicolas Sarkozy said.
They were killed "during a joint reconnaissance mission with the Afghan national army," said Sarkozy in a statement.
"Serious measures, notably in the air, were taken to support and extricate our men caught in an extremely violent ambush," he said, adding he would travel later Tuesday to Afghanistan to show his support for French troops there.
The latest casualties bring to 24 the number of French troops killed in action or in accidents in Afghanistan since French soldiers were first sent there in 2002.
Military officials in Kabul said the clashes started with an attack on an NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) patrol in Sarobi district, about 50 kilometres east of the capital.
Afghan defence ministry spokesman General Mohammad Zahir Azimi said 13 rebels including a Pakistani national had also been killed in the clashes.
The Taliban claimed its insurgents attacked ISAF troops in Sarobi and blown up several vehicles.
Most of the 3,000 French troops participating in the 40-nation ISAF are in Kabul province, which includes Sarobi, and in Kapisa province, northeast of the capital.
[AFP / Expatica]
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