French soldiers killed in Afghanistan rocket strike

15th March 2009, Comments 0 comments

A French soldier was killed and six Afghan troops wounded Saturday during a skirmish with insurgents in eastern Afghanistan, the French military said.

PARIS - The corporal from the 27th Alpine fighter battalion (BCA) was among 400 soldiers taking part in an operation with the Afghan army in Alasay valley, northeast of Kabul, Captain Christophe Prazuck told AFP in Paris.

"Night had already fallen when an insurgent fired an anti-tank rocket on a French armoured vehicle in the front whose driver, a corporal from the 27th BCA, was killed," he said.

A half-dozen Afghan soldiers were wounded and another French soldier was slightly wounded in the fighting, he added.

The insurgents were "pushed into their sanctuaries" in the operation, which aimed to "retake ground held by insurgents," Prazuck said.

The operation was backed by coalition Predator drones, A10 and F15 fighters jets and Kiowa helicopters, he added.

The new death brings to 26 the number of French soldiers killed in Afghanistan since January 2002.

France has 2,800 troops in Afghanistan as part of a 55,000-strong NATO force.

AFP / Expatica

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