Military: French soldier killed in Afghanistan
A French soldier was killed and two wounded in an insurgent attack in eastern Afghanistan SaturdayKabul - A French soldier was killed and two wounded in an insurgent attack in eastern Afghanistan Saturday, the French military said, in a mounting toll for international military forces fighting Taliban insurgents.
Around 230 French, US and Afghan troops came under fire in the Kapisa province, northeast of Kabul, as they were on an operation with Afghan troops, the French military in Afghanistan said in a statement.
"One French soldier was hit and died of the injury. Immediately the troops returned fire and counter-attacked the insurgents," the statement said.
"The fighting lasted one and a half hours and two other French soldiers were wounded. The insurgents eventually retreated."
France has lost 29 soldiers in Afghanistan since 2001, it said.
The incident was confirmed in Paris with a statement from the office of President Nicolas Sarkozy.
"The president learned with deep regret of the death today of a French soldier in Afghanistan," the statement from the Elysee Palace said.
More than 230 international troops have lost their lives in Afghanistan this year in an escalating conflict with Taliban-led militants that has peaked just weeks ahead of August 20 presidential elections.
Last month was the deadliest for the US-majority international forces since they deployed to Afghanistan in late 2001 to remove the Taliban regime.
Seventy-five soldiers were killed, most of them in attacks, according to the independent www.icasualties.org website.
There are more than 100,000 international soldiers in Afghanistan, according to Pentagon figures. This includes around 2,900 French troops deployed to a NATO force.
AFP / Expatica