French special forces soldier killed in Afghanistan

19th September 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Sept 18 (AFP) - A French special forces soldier was killed by a bomb attack in southern Afghanistan in the early hours of Sunday, the French armed forces chief of staff said in Paris.

PARIS, Sept 18 (AFP) - A French special forces soldier was killed by a bomb attack in southern Afghanistan in the early hours of Sunday, the French armed forces chief of staff said in Paris.

A second soldier in the same vehicle was seriously wounded in the attack, the statement said, adding that the troops were part of France's contribution to the US-led Operation Enduring Freedom.

The attack, which came as polling stations were opening across Afghanistan for parliamentary elections, marked the first time a French soldier had been killed in the country.

French defense minister Michele Alliot-Marie, speaking in Paris, said: "I feel sadness", adding that the French soldiers were on a "difficult mission ... in the most difficult area of Afghanistan where terrorists and the Taliban are present (who) have no interest in seeing this country stable and safe".

She added: "We knew it was a high-risk period."

French special forces operate around the southern Afghan border town of Spin Boldak, in a mission code-named Heracles.

France has some 200 soldiers in Operation Enduring Freedom, in addition to 600 who are taking part in the separate peacekeeping International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

ISAF, run by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, operates mainly around the capital Kabul.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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