Two French soldiers killed in Afghanistan: Elysee

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Two French Foreign Legion soldiers were among four NATO troops killed Sunday in two separate insurgent attacks in Afghanistan, the French presidency said.

The French soldiers were killed in the Tagab valley in Kapisa province north of Kabul, it said. Their deaths brought to 72 the number of French soldiers who have died in Afghanistan since 2001.

The other attack on Sunday, in the south of the country, was reported by NATO but the alliance did not give details or state the nationality of the troops.

The new deaths follow a deadly helicopter crash Saturday that killed 30 US Special Operations soldiers and seven of their Afghan counterparts in Wardak, a troubled region near Kabul.

France has some 4,000 troops in Afghanistan.

The latest fatalities bring to 383 the number of foreign soldiers killed so far this year, against 711 for the whole of last year, according to the independent website

Afghanistan is in the grip of a deadly insurgency launched in late 2001 by the remnants of the Taliban whose regime was toppled in a US-led invasion after the September 11 attacks.

There are tens of thousands of Western, mostly US troops deployed to Afghanistan to quell the insurgency.

The US has already started drawing down its troops in a process that will see Afghan security forces taking over all security responsibilities from foreign forces by 2014.

© 2011 AFP

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