French officer killed in Afghanistan: presidency
A French non-commissioned officer was killed and three soldiers wounded in an anti-tank rocket attack by Taliban militants in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, the French presidency said.
The presidency was unable to confirm whether the French casualty was one of the 10 NATO soldiers whose deaths were announced by the alliance earlier on Monday, one of its heaviest tolls suffered in a single day.
A member of the 2nd foreign parachutist regiment from Calvi on the French island of Corsica, the NCO was killed during a reconnaissance mission south of the Afghan town of Tagab, said a French statement.
Three of his comrades were injured in the operation, it said.
Armed forces spokesman Admiral Christophe Prazuck said one of the surviving soldiers was in life-threatening condition, while the two others suffered lighter injuries.
President Nicolas Sarkozy offered his "most sincere condolences" to the officer's family, as well as to his military companions, the presidency statement said.
"He forcefully condemned this blind violence and expressed France's determination to continue working as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)," the statement added.
The latest victim was the 43rd French soldier to be killed in Afghanistan since the deployment of international troops in late 2001. France has some 3,500 soldiers deployed in the country.
© 2010 AFP