France will keep fighting the Taliban: Sarkozy

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President Nicolas Sarkozy vowed Thursday that France will keep up the fight against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda after a 43rd French soldier was killed in Afghanistan this week.

"France cannot give up the struggle against terrorism and terrorists," Sarkozy said after touring France's flagship Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, which was moored off Toulon, southern France.

"We must help the Afghans until they are able themselves to guarantee their security and development," he said.

"We must keep up our fight against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda."

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 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 serving in a NATO mission in the country.

Sarkozy announced that the aircraft carrier will be deployed to the Gulf region and the Indian Ocean before the end of this year.

© 2010 AFP

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